Drivers taking advantage of Mount Maunganui bus lanes are being warned of $150 fines if they continue.

The Tauranga City Council revealed today a total of 240 warnings were issued to drivers breaching traffic bylaws by inappropriately using the Hewletts Rd bus lanes since April 30.

On behalf of the New Zealand Transport Agency, which is the lead authority for the stretch of State Highway 2, the council has only issued warning notices to offending drivers.

However, from this week the council will now fine anyone caught illegally using a bus lane $150.

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Bus lanes are only for buses and people riding bikes, motorbikes and mopeds. People driving other vehicles are allowed to use the bus lanes for no more than 50 metres before turning at an intersection or into a driveway or when merging back into the main traffic lane after exiting from a driveway.

The bus lanes on Hewletts Road are enforceable under Land Transport legislation 24 hours a day, seven days a week and the monitoring is done using CCTV cameras.

The council and the transport agency are investigating opportunities for new bus lanes in other parts of the city to help make bus travel more reliable and convenient.

People are encouraged to consider other options such as public transport, walking, cycling or carpooling, especially when travelling in peak times.