Bus gates catch 7,295 motorists

News: Sheffield Telegraph online 24-hours a day.
News: Sheffield Telegraph online 24-hours a day.

CONTROVERSIAL bus gate restrictions on the Wicker generated up to £440,000 in a year for Sheffield City Council.

Some 7,295 motorists were given fixed penalty charges in 12 months - an average of one an hour - for flouting three-year-old restrictions which ban motorists crossing the inner ring road.

Figures were requested from the council by Jason Clarke, of Lodge Moor, whose wife Linda was fined after driving to Wicker Pharmacy. He branded the penalty “‘a licence to print money”.

He added: “Depending on how promptly people paid the fine, income generated would have been between £218,500 and £437,700. It would not be unreasonable to conclude from these extraordinary figures that the present road signs in the area are not sufficiently clear.

The council said the number of fines was a fifth of the levels at the start of 2008.

Cabinet member Coun Leigh Bramall said: “People living in Sheffield should know by now there is a bus gate.

“This issue has been greatly publicised. We would advise people to check signs at any junction and make sure they don’t fall foul of restrictions.”

Money from the fines goes towards highways schemes.