No powers to pursue southern drivers who don't pay bus lane fines

There are no powers to pursue motorists from the Republic who fail to pay bus lane fines accrued in the north. Picture by Hugh Russell 
John Monaghan

THERE are no powers to pursue drivers from the Republic who fail to road pay fines in the north.

Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard said while his department seek details about vehicles which breach bus lane regulations with there southern counterparts, there are no powers to pursue them if fines are ignored.

Mr Hazzard said: "When keeper details are provided, the bus lane fines are issued in the same manner as for fines issued for vehicles registered with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in the north.

"No further action is possible once all enforcement correspondence has been issued to the recipient of a bus lane PCN in the south as my department has no jurisdiction to recover PCN debt from residents in the south."

The admission was made in response to a written Assembly question from Green Party leader and North Down MLA Steven Agnew.

In response to a separate query, the minister also confirmed that motorists who pull into a bus lane to allow an emergency vehicle to pass will not be fined.

However, drivers who enter the current 24-hour bus lanes in Belfast - which are to be reduced to 12 hours - between now and the change being implemented will not have their fines overturned.

The three bus lanes are located at East Bridge Street, the Saintfield Road at Forestside Shopping Centre and the Upper Newtownards Road.

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