A CONTROVERSIAL Gateshead bus lane camera remains the most lucrative in the region – despite its fines being suspended for several months.

More penalties were handed out in 2021/22 to motorists going through the Askew Road bus lane than any other across Tyne and Wear, County Durham, and Northumberland. A total of 29,895 charges were issued from the town centre spot between April 2021 and March 2022, almost £1.8m worth of £60 notices. 

And that number would have been significantly higher, had Gateshead Council not put a complete hold on fines there from October to January while the road was being redesigned. 

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The Northern Echo:

The second most frequent location for drivers to be caught in bus lanes, as revealed by freedom of information requests made by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, was Quarryheads Lane in Durham. 28,810 penalties were issued there in 2021/22, though that bus gate was removed last October once works on Elvet Bridge had been completed.

Also featured in the top 10 across the North East are the Tyne Bridge slip road in Newcastle city centre, South Shore Road on the Gateshead Quayside, and Edinburgh Road in Jarrow.


Here are the 10 North East bus lanes where the most fines were issued in 2021/22: 

Askew Road, Gateshead – 29,895

Quarryheads Lane, Durham – 28,810 

Tyne Bridge Slip Road, Newcastle – 11,362

South Shore Road, Gateshead – 11,278

Edinburgh Road, Jarrow – 6,535

Laverock Hall Road, Blyth – 5,912

North Road, Durham – 3,052

High Level Bridge, Newcastle – 2,973

High Flatworth, North Shields (southbound) – 2,324

John Dobson Street, Newcastle (southbound) – 2,272


Since it was switched back on last November, the once infamous northbound bus lane camera on John Dobson Street has caught out 1,854 drivers. However, fines there have once again been suspended while Newcastle City Council carries out works in nearby Ridley Place.

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Gateshead Council’s service director for highways and waste, Marc Morley, said the authority was “as fair as possible” in its operation of the controversial Askew Road camera.

The council agreed to waive any fines issued during one weekend of particularly bad gridlock last September, while drivers had previously dubbed the bus lane a “premeditated cash cow” and hit out at the signage around it.

Mr Morley added: “There are prominent signs and road markings in place to inform drivers they cannot use this stretch of road, and we have repeatedly adapted and improved that signage and the markings since the bus lane was first introduced.

“In 2019, before the bus lane was introduced, this stretch of Askew Road saw, on average, almost 497,000 journeys per month.

“The average number of PCNs issued for the Askew Road bus lane last year was 3,736 per month – representing only 0.75% of the journeys previously seen on this road.

“We are glad to see that 99% of drivers found an alternative route, or are now completing their journey by another mode of transport.

“The Askew Road bus lane is part of a wider strategy we are implementing to address the dominance of motor traffic in and around Gateshead town centre and the quays area.”

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