A bus gate on Union Street, put in place to help with social distancing, is fully operational once more after being broken since the start of 2021.
The traffic measure was introduced as part of the controversial Spaces for People scheme in September.
Extending from Union Street’s junction with Market Street to the turn-off with Adelphi, the gate only allows buses, taxis, bikes and a handful of other authorised vehicles to go through.
Rulebreakers should expect to be fined if caught, but no penalties were issued to motorists by Aberdeen City Council at all between the start of the year and July 22, due to an “unrepairable equipment fault”.
However, a new replacement camera was put in place on Monday and, after being tested, is now live.
Fines will be sent to ‘the customer’ if an offence takes place
The city council has confirmed that “the customer”, more commonly known as drivers who break the rules, can now expect a cash fine if they go through the bus gate.
A spokesman for the local authority said: “We can confirm that work to install a new camera at Union Street has been completed as scheduled, and is now operational after a period of testing.
“In keeping with our other bus gate sites, technology will capture any incidents which will allow our operators to review whether an offence has taken place.
“At this point the system will generate an enforcement notice which will be sent to the customer.”
How much is the fine? And what is the cash used for?
Unlike the previous system on Union Street, the new camera does not need to be manned by city wardens for fines to be issued.
The penalty for going through the bus gate in a non-permitted vehicle is £60, but this can be reduced to £30 if paid within a set period.
Last Wednesday between 4.50pm and 5.20pm, we counted a total of 45 banned vehicles going through the traffic measure without being fined.
Had the bus gate been functioning at the time, the council could have brought in £2,700 worth of fines if every driver were issued an enforcement notice.
Between the gate being introduced in September and the end of December 2020, a total of 2,277 fines were issued at the gate – worth £136,620 to the council.
All cash generated from the Union Street bus gate, and the council’s other bus gates in Aberdeen, will help to fund transport projects such as cycle lanes and bus stop improvements.