Revealed: whopping 116,000 bus lanes fines in Manchester bring in £3.7m - more than any other council area

Manchester City Council said all the money collected from fines get ploughed directly back into highways and transport improvements.

Motorists in Manchester racked up more fines and had to pay out more to the council than any other local authority in the country for driving in bus lanes, data shows.

Freedom of Information (FOI) requests showed that in 2020-21 Manchester City Council dished out an astonishing 116,862 fines from bus lane fines, with drivers having to pay up just over £3.7m.

In both cases this was top of the league table of local authorities compiled by researchers Moneybarn.

The council said bus lanes are vital for keeping Manchester moving and said the money paid out by motorists goes into traffic and highways improvements.

What does the data show?

Moneybarn looked at how many fines were being given to drivers for violating bus lane rules and how much money was consequently coming in to town halls.

Driving in bus lanes at the wrong times (or in some cases at all) can lead to motorists being spotted and hefty fines being issued.

As well as dishing out most fines Manchester topped the revenue table with an exact total of £3,701,458 coming into council coffers from motorists in the wrong place at the wrong time in 2020-21.

Unsurprisingly given their populations and numbers of vehicles the top of Moneybarn’s table was dominated by big cities such as Bristol, Glasgow and Birmingham as well as boroughs of London.

Moneybarn speculated that Manchester’s comprehensive public transport system, which includes its Metrolink tram system as well as the bus network which is in the process of being franchised and brought back under public control, could be a reason why so many fines are given and so much revenue generated as alternatives to the car are important for residents getting around and the smooth functioning of the city.

What did the council say?

The local authority confirmed that having a fast, reliable public transport system is vital for its ambitions to make the city green and liveable.

A spokesperson for Manchester City Council said: “Bus lanes are vital in ensuring that buses in Manchester are able to travel in and out of the city as easily as possible.

“Making public transport an attractive and speedy alternative to car usage is a key pillar of the council’s ambition to cut carbon emissions in the city.

“Fines from bus lane infringements are ringfenced and can only be spent on highway and transport improvements.”