£50,000 earmarked for bus lane cameras in Staffordshire

Traffic cameras will be installed to deter motorists using bus lanes illegally after half were found to be driving in them, Staffordshire County Council has announced.

£50,000 earmarked for bus lane cameras in Staffordshire

Next year the authority wants to spend £50,000 installing cameras that would recognise vehicle number plates to ensure just buses and taxis use the 'handful' of lanes.

It expects to make a profit of £35,000 a year from 2018 by fining illegal drivers.

Drivers are currently fined £60 by the authority if they are caught driving in a bus lane. But that can drop to £30 if paid within a fortnight.

If the fine is not paid within a month it can increase to £90. The council said it puts all fines it generates back into its transport department.

Cabinet member for highways and transport, Councillor Mark Deaville, said: "Where we have used bus lane cameras before, for example at i54 South Staffordshire, we have seen almost 99 per cent of traffic obeying the rules.

"Our main aim is discourage cars from acting illegally and using bus lanes, but any surplus after the costs of operating the camera will be ploughed back into transport.

"In the case of some bus lanes that don't have cameras, we have seen that up to 50 per cent of traffic does not adhere to the rules."

The council undertook a survey last year in Stafford across four different bus lanes, which found half of drivers were illegally using the lanes.

In 2015 hundreds of drivers were fined after they used the bus lane to get to the industrial park, near Wolverhampton.

Motorists said the lane meant those who wanted to get to i54 from the west of Wolverhampton had to travel for three miles along Stafford Road and then the M54 to get to it from the north.

In the council's bus lane enforcement policy, published in March 2015, it said it would adopt bus lanes to 'maintain, and where possible, improve the flow of traffic thereby making the county a more pleasant and environmentally safe place to live, work and visit'.

Meanwhile hundreds of drivers have been caught out by a bus lane camera within weeks of its installation in Wolverhampton city centre.

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