Thousands of motorists who were caught out by Huddersfield’s “bus gates” have got lucky.

An astonishing 7,000 people broke the rules during the first seven weeks – but none were fined.

The unpopular traffic monitoring system was launched in the town centre on February 1 with everyone under the impression that people would be fined if they drove in the bus only zones.

But Kirklees Council has now admitted that no one was issued with a ticket until March 21.

Bus gates from a dash cam

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The figures show about 142 people per day were ignoring the signs and driving through the bus gates.

Fines are £60 reduced to £30 if paid within two weeks.

This means as much as £420,000 has been forfeited by the council by not enforcing the scheme since the beginning of February.

The Examiner understands the council voluntarily declined to enforce the fines to allow people to familiarise themselves with the new scheme.

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A spokesman for Kirklees Council said: “Penalty charge notices have been issued in relation to the town’s bus gates since March 21.

“The cameras cover High Street between Market Street and New Street, and the Westgate, Kirkgate, St George’s Square and Railway Street areas.

Video thumbnail, Bus gates blame
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“For seven weeks since the cameras became operational, more than 7,000 tickets were issued but not charged as the council allowed drivers to become familiar with the new approach.

“In the first seven days of enforcement, up to 28 March, 200 penalty charge notices have been issued.”

The bus gates are active seven days per week from 8am to 6pm around Westgate, Kirkgate, Market Street and Railway Street.

On High Street, near Huddersfield Town Hall, they operate from 10am to 4pm.