Huddersfield’s bus gates could net the council more than £1m a year.

Kirklees Council’s controversial scheme to ban motorists from key routes into the town centre was launched last February.

An amnesty was held for the first seven weeks and no driver was fined until March 21.

But figures released from the first 30 days of charging reveal nearly £100,000 in fines were issued to drivers who broke the rules.

The council sent tickets to 3,604 people and collected £60,810 – more than £2,000 per day.

But a further £36,030 in fines is outstanding from people who refused or forgot to pay.

Fines are £30 if paid within the first 14 days, doubling to £60 afterwards.

The figures indicate about £1.27m would be generated by the bus gates cameras each year if the level of fines remain consistent.

The £1.2m scheme was financed by the Department for Transport but Kirklees gets to keep any revenue generated from fines.

Kirklees said it could not provide details about which particular bus gates were generating more fines.

A tiny handful of the fines have been successfully appealed – just 26 of the 3,604.

See our dashcam driver tackling the bus gates route

Video thumbnail, Bus gates dash cam
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A spokesperson for the council told the Examiner any surplus from running the system would be put towards public transport and highways improvement projects.

They said the bus gates were not designed to be a money making scheme for the council and it was expected that the number of fines would “significantly decline over time”.

The huge amounts of cash being generated come amid demands from town centre traders to take the bus gate cameras down.

The Huddersfield Town Centre Action Group (HTCAG) wrote to Kirklees Council in May calling for urgent talks on the scheme.

Read more: Huddersfield traders call for bus gates scheme to be abolished

Read more: Bus gates: NO motorists fined during first seven weeks council confirms

Spokesperson Alisa Devlin, who runs La Fleur flower design shop on Westgate, said councillors may as well put a “barbed wire ring” around the town centre as no-one could get in any more.

And she revealed dozens of businesses around Westgate and Kirkgate have joined the campaign after their takings slumped by between 20% and 40% after the bus gates were activated.

The council’s chief executive, Adrian Lythgo, has since written to the group blaming the “unprecedented” levels of road works around Westgate and Kirkgate for the drop in trade.

The bottom half of Kirkgate is currently closed for major resurfacing and further works are expected in the rest of Kirkgate, Westgate and Trinity Street.

Huddersfield Town centre new bus gates go live, vehicles ignoring the new bus gates.

His letter says the council will monitor the effectiveness of the scheme over the coming months, once the road works are complete.

But Mrs Devlin said the letter had made her “blood boil” and described the roadworks excuse as a “red herring” and the huge income from fines as “unbelievable”.

“All that money has come out of traders’ pockets,” she said.

“Previous road works didn’t affect trade at all.

“But with this we suffered almost instantly with a massive downturn in trade.”

Kirklees Green Party leader, Clr Andrew Cooper, whose Newsome ward includes the town centre, said he was surprised to hear the bus gates were making so much cash.

“It should not be about raising revenue,” he said.

“It shows people are not taking notice of them. The council shouldn’t be budgeting for people breaking the rules.

“The bus gates should succeed in their aim (to reduce traffic).

“I would ask, are they doing what they are supposed to do?”

Clr Cooper said he would recommend the Action Group attended a council meeting to explain the key issues and impact on their livelihoods.