Plymouth bus lane camera is making £1,000 a day in fines
A SINGLE bus lane enforcement camera has caught out more than 3,500 motorists – making the council £1,000 a day.
The Herald revealed last week how six cameras targeting those who flout bus lane rules were generating fines of more than £45 a minute.
Plymouth City Council said 15,555 motorists had been hit with £60 fines – which are 'discounted' to £30 if paid within two weeks – between August 13 and October 25.
That means the council has pocketed around half a million pounds already – all cash that it says will be pumped back into public transport provision and city transport projects.
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Now it has emerged a single CCTV camera snapped a whopping 3,528 drivers between August 10 and October 24.
Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal how the thousands were all caught on a single stretch of Tavistock Road in Derriford.
The camera fixed on the A386's approach to Derriford Roundabout made the council £83,795 in that period, the local authority said.
That equates to more than £1,000 a day.
One motorist said she had nicknamed the junction of Tavistock Road and Looseleigh Lane 'Dick Turpin Corner', describing the crackdown as "highway robbery".
Council chiefs say drivers were warned about the cameras in advance – and have "no excuse" for breaking the rules.
But Jo Higson, who has not been caught out herself, said she was "disgusted" at the figures – and said the bus lane ban could be making the route more congested.
"I am all in favour of the council taking measures to ensure bus lanes are left free and available for buses and that their journey is not impeded by cars parked or using the bus lanes," Ms Higson said.
"However, at this point, cars do frequently move into the bus lane early in order to turn left into Looseleigh Lane. While I pass this area frequently, I have never seen a car impeding the progress of a bus.
"But it does ease the considerable congestion amongst the traffic in the lanes leading up to the roundabout."
The introduction of the cameras followed a council-led bus lane 'education and awareness campaign' which was launched in March in partnership with bus companies, the police, licensed trade and contractors Amey.
Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet member for transport, told The Herald last week how more than 99 per cent of vehicles were obeying the rules.
"We have been pleased to see that the overwhelming majority of motorists are complying with bus lane restrictions," he said.
"Our bus lanes and gates are clearly marked and there really is no excuse for ignoring the restrictions."
The six initial locations for bus lane enforcement cameras are:
Bus gate on Pemros Road, St Budeaux, near Tamar Bridge (Buses and taxis only, no motorcycles)
Bus lane on Exeter Street, near entrance to Friary Park
Bus gate on outbound side of Embankment Road, near junction of Laira Bridge Road and Florence Place
Bus lane on inbound side of Embankment Road, giving access to Heles Terrace (strictly for buses only – taxis and motorcycles not allowed)
Northbound bus lane on Tavistock Road, between McDonalds and B&Q/Windsor House car park
Bus lane on Saltash Road, between train station and North Cross roundabout