A new bus lane camera is catching nearly 300 motorists a day – netting Sheffield Council more than £90,000 in fines in just a few months.
Shocking figures from the council show the new device on Ecclesall Road issued a staggering 291 fines on Monday, January 5 – the first day many people returned to work after the Christmas break – alone. Monthly totals reveal that it earned £22,260 last September – its first month of operation – rising to £30,570 in October, when 1,179 fines were issued, and £23,375 in November. From September to January 11 it fired off 4,563 fines, earning the authority £91,415 in just four-and-a-half months.
The camera focuses on the bus lane where it ends on the final approach to the Waitrose roundabout as motorists drive towards Sheffield city centre.
Hundreds of drivers have been caught clipping the solid white bus lane line as they move across to the unrestricted final few yards of the inside lane.
One motorist, who declined to be named, said: “I agree with policing bus lanes, but this is ridiculous – councillors must be rubbing their hands with glee at such a massive moneyspinner.
“It’s all too easy, when there is no bus behind and no obstruction ahead, to move into the inside lane just a little early – and pow, you’ve been framed.
I agree with policing bus lanes, but this is ridiculous – councillors must be rubbing their hands with glee at such a massive moneyspinner
“Envelopes must be dropping through letterboxes across the city like junk mail.”
Rob Prior, of the former Sheffield Motorists’ Forum, said there was ‘no excuse’ for people who deliberately used bus lanes that were well publicised with signs.
However, he said: “There are occasions when it would be a danger to traffic if the bus lane has come too close to the roundabout – if that’s the case and it is a danger to motorists then the council need to look at it.”
Coun Leigh Bramall, council cabinet member for business, skills and development, said the money from fines could be used on improving public transport, walking and cycling schemes.
He said: “The law sets out what we can spend money from enforcement on and the priority in spending camera enforcement income is to make it easier and safer for people to travel by public transport.
“However, the funding can also be used to invest in the construction of certain types of walking and cycling schemes and is now being used to extend the cycle routes across the city.”
Motorists caught driving in the bus lane receive a £60 penalty charge – reduced to £30 if paid promptly – and 4,563 fines at the minimum £30 is worth £136,890 to the council.