More than 50 drivers have been spotted driving through a city centre bus zone, months after the scheme was introduced.

But the council is not currently enforcing the scheme, leading to it being branded as 'pointless' by one taxpayer watchdog.

A section of Portland Terrace between Spa Road and Castle Way Car Park was closed to all traffic other than buses, cyclists and taxis on November 13.

Daily Echo: Cars driving through Portland TerraceCars driving through Portland Terrace (Image: Newsquest)But yesterday morning, shortly after rush hour, 54 vehicles were seen driving through the zone near Westquay in just 30 minutes - despite signs and warnings.

Reacting to the figure, an Uber driver in the city told the Echo that motorists were 'taking the mick'.

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She said: “This is a similar issue to the one in Above Bar Street, the road outside Switch nightclub on the weekends, you do get private cars there that shouldn’t be there. They go up and down that road all the time.

“If they don’t enforce any of their roads, what makes people think they will enforce this one now?”

Daily Echo: Cllr Jeremy MoultonCllr Jeremy Moulton Uber drivers licensed with the city council are allowed to drive through the zone.

Funded by the government’s Transforming Cities Fund, the scheme falls under the redevelopment of Albion Place, which will cost the taxpayer £3.9m.

A spokesperson for Southampton City Council said it would improve bus journey times to the new Albion Place bus hub, which is currently being built.

Daily Echo: Cars driving through Portland TerraceCars driving through Portland Terrace (Image: Newsquest)Regarding the bus zone, the council is currently 'monitoring the scheme, reviewing signage and observing driver behaviour'.

The spokesman added that 'CCTV may be used in the future to enforce the restriction' and this would be publicly announced if so, with warning notices issued first before Penalty Charge Notices came in as per Government guidance.

But Jonathan Eida, researcher at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Taxpayers are tired of seeing town halls pointlessly fiddling with road systems with no seeming benefit.

"Millions have been spent on this project, yet it's clearly failing to deliver any of the benefits it was supposed to.

"If the council wants to stick with this scheme it should lay out a proper plan for implementing it."

Tory councillor and deputy opposition leader Jeremy Moulton said he would not have adopted the scheme as it is causing inconvenience to drivers and increasing congestion.

He said: “My view on it is that the bus gate is causing significant inconvenience on drivers and forcing those following the rules to take a longer route, adding to the congestion.

"I don’t think it is particularly clear. It’s not that obvious when you’re driving on that road.

“We shouldn’t treat all car drivers like they are the enemy, which seems to be the case for this city council.”