Motorists in Aberdeen have been spared more than £1.3million in bus gate fines thanks to the three-month 'grace period' put in place by the council.
The controversial gates are now fining motorists who go through them without permission £60 a time.
New data revealed by The Press and Journal shows 22,257 drivers were caught illegally using the bus gates in just 40 days until the end of September.
Most of them, 12,735 to be exact, were handed out within the first 10 days of their implementation, before drivers got to grips with them.
That means that in just 10 August days, fines worth £764,100 could have been handed out. Instead, until November 8, caution letters were sent out to rulebreakers.
More than 8,400 of the caution letters were sent to drivers going eastbound on Guild Street from the train station to the harbour, while more than 5,500 motorists were cautioned for going southbound on Bridge Street.
An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman told the paper: “Due to a number of road changes taking place in the city we opted to apply a period of monitoring which included the issuing of warning notices and a public awareness campaign to highlight the changes being introduced in the city centre.
“The monitoring period provided valuable insight into the installed measures which has resulted in enhancements being taken forward to signage and road layouts in the area.”
Passengers seeing the benefit
Whilst drivers will now be paying the price for using the gates, Aberdeen's two major bus operators reckon that passengers are seeing improved services across the city.
In October, figures revealed by First Aberdeen and Stagecoach Bluebird showed an increase in punctuality and consistency of services across the city, including to and from the P&J Live and Aberdeen International Airport.
A 10% increase was also noted by First, with hopes that both operators will reinvest in improving services for passengers.