Council rakes in £6,000 per day from single bus lane camera

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A general view of a bus lane in central London as transport bosses have welcomed a court ruling on their policy of banning private hire vehicles from bus lanes.

The most profitable bus lane cameras around the country have been revealed, with one unit alone raking in close to £6,000 per day for its council, a BBC investigation revealed.

That particular camera sits along a 54-yard section of John Dobson street in Newcastle city centre. The city's council revealed it had brought in £1.5 million from 62,975 penalty charge notices it issued between February and October 2016 – or £5,960 per day.
Collectively, councils across Britain made more than £30 million from fines issued to motorists for entering dedicated bus-only lanes.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams commented: "Bus lane cameras are fast becoming a new 'cash bonanza' for councils. The amount of money being raised by them in fines is frightening, but it's shocking that one single bus lane camera in Newcastle is generating nearly £6,000 a day.

"Rather than just rubbing their hands together and taking the money councils should be asking questions as to why so many motorists are being caught driving in bus lanes. They should be looking to understand if motorists are deliberately flouting the rules or whether this is happening accidentally, and if so why.

"Cameras need to be set up fairly and signed clearly so that drivers are not unduly punished. A more lenient approach should also be taken for minor errors where motorists have only crossed the lane by inches or have driven in a bus lane for a matter of moments."

A Newcastle City Council spokesman told the Daily Mail: "Each year, nine million bus passengers travel along John Dobson Street, where services have seen a 14 per cent improvement in journey time reliability since enforcement started.

"We would firmly stress that bus lanes are not there to generate income - they are there to help us to manage our road networks efficiently."

Per day, the top ten most lucrative bus lane cameras are:
  1. John Dobson Street, Newcastle - £5,960
  2. Victoria Square, Wolverhampton - £4,750
  3. Eden Street, Kingston-upon-Thames - £2,661
  4. Portland Street (SW), Manchester - £2,570
  5. St Martin's Queensway, Birmingham - £2,400 approximately
  6. Tyne Bridge Slip, Newcastle - £2,330
  7. Portland Street (NE), Manchester - £2,292
  8. London Road, Kingston-upon-Thames - £1,718
  9. Hunts Bank, Manchester - £1,442
  10. Southampton Row, Camden - £1,354