Hundreds of motorists have been caught illegally using bus lanes in a Black Country town inside the first two months of a new crackdown.
A specially-equipped vehicle with a mobile camera was introduced in Walsall at the start of July in a bid to tackle queue jumpers.
A total of 245 drivers were captured breaking the law up to the beginning of September.
Walsall Council has been issuing warnings during an amnesty period but motorists will eventually face £60 fines.
The council said the hard-hitting approach has come after regular requests from bus operators to make sure motorists don’t flout the rules.
Transport chief councillor Adrian Andrew said: “The mobile enforcement camera car previously approved by full council for enforcement of bus lanes has completed its initial testing procedures and is now operating on a daily basis to ensure only authorised vehicles use the bus lanes in Walsall.
“Initially, warning letters are being sent to those drivers not complying with the bus lane restrictions. After a short period of time we will be fully implementing the formal enforcement process.”
There are bus lanes in Birmingham Road, Walsall; High Street, Bloxwich; Somerfield Place, Willenhall; and Wolverhampton Road West, Bentley. They are also in use around the town centre in Stafford Street, Hatherton Road, Lichfield Street and St Paul’s Street.
The council had originally hoped to have it up and running by last autumn, but said there had been technical hitches with the equipment which had led to hold-ups.
Those caught using bus lanes will be hit with a £60 fine, which will be halved if paid within 14 days. Those who fail to pay within 56 days will see the bill rise to £90.
The enforcement vehicle will also monitor school gate parking. It is anticipated the camera will generate about £15,000 a year, with the council saying money will be ploughed back into the initiative.
A statement on the council’s website says: “Every driver in the borough is responsible for making sure they comply with all traffic regulations. Using a sat nav is not an accepted excuse for contravening regulations.”