KEIGHLEY'S tiny bus lane has raked in over £138,300 in fines for Bradford Council since 2014, it has been revealed.

Vehicles other than buses are prohibited from using the short stretch of Bow Street, in the town centre.

And new figures show that motorists caught on camera flouting the restriction, which applies 24/7, have forked out a total of £138,339.47 in penalties over the past nine years.

Buses exit the bus station into North Street via the restricted junction, officially known as a bus gate.

In the past year alone, between April 2022 and March 2023, the council received £18,595.43 in fines from offending drivers.

The highest annual total from the last nine years was in 2014-15, when the figure reached £26,464.

Across the Bradford district, where there are more than two dozen bus lanes and gates and bus-only streets, over £14.4 million has been generated from fines since 2014.

The penalty currently stands at £70, but is reduced by half if people pay within 21 days. After that, the full amount must be paid.

There are then two other stages if still unpaid and ultimately the council may register the charge with the Traffic Enforcement Centre and take legal action.

Motoring experts at Snooper have urged all drivers to brush up on the Highway Code rules surrounding bus lanes to avoid penalty charge notices, which it warns could soon be increased.

Spokesperson Gary Digva said: "Councils are understandably considering increasing the fines for those driving in bus lanes outside of authorised hours.

"Not only does it go against the Highway Code, but serious incidents can occur, all for just shaving off a couple of minutes to avoid sitting in queuing traffic.

"It’s frustrating to see an open lane completely free of any buses or other vehicles whilst you have to wait, but bus lanes are there for a reason – not only to prioritise bus schedules but to also allow emergency services to travel through quickly.

"Drivers need to remain aware of the rules.

"Always watch out for a blue sign along the lane telling you the authorised days and hours when cars are able to use the bus lane. Remember that if there are no times displayed, then the bus lane is operational at all hours."

Bradford Council says there has been a general reduction in the number of bus lane penalty charge notices issued, which it attributes to greater awareness amongst drivers of bus lane restrictions and cameras.

A spokesperson added: "The income from penalty charge notices pays the cost of enforcement. This includes the administration staff involved in collecting the fines, maintenance of signs and lines and other associated costs. Any surplus remaining after deduction of costs has to go towards measures to improve public transport or other highways-associated improvements."