Birmingham & Black Country

Bus lane camera nets £1m in six months for Sandwell Council

The camera
Image caption The camera is already among England's most lucrative

A camera focused on a bus lane has generated nearly £1m in fines in six months.

Sandwell Council introduced the camera on New Street, West Bromwich in December. Since that time it has issued 48,755 penalty charges to drivers.

Motoring organisation the RAC said the volume of fines was a "significant worry" and added the camera was already among England's most lucrative.

The council said the money was being reinvested in safety schemes.

Image caption The camera was put in place about six months ago

"When they started to enforce it [the lane] with a camera, it caught many motorists unaware," RAC spokesperson Pete Williams said.

"I think alarm bells have to ring when you start getting such a high volume of fines.

"Most motorists do not set out to break the law."

He said the camera, which has so far raised £944,832 - amounting to 270 penalties a day, or one every six minutes - was already one of the most lucrative bus lane cameras in England, coming "a close second" to John Dobson Street, in Newcastle.

However, Sandwell's cabinet member for highways and environment, David Hosell, said: "Any money that is made from the camera is put into highways projects and safety schemes.

He added that while £1m "might sound like a great deal of money", the scheme had also cost a lot to set up.

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