Vehicles which drive illegally in Wolverhampton bus lanes face fines from 1 June when the city council takes over enforcement.

From that date, the authority will assume responsibility for bus lane enforcement from the police.

Cameras installed with automatic number plate recognition technology have been installed to monitor the city's bus lanes.

The cameras will record any vehicle breaking the law and the registered owner will be served a £60 penalty charge notice.

The city's cabinet agreed last year for the council to take over responsibility for bus lane enforcement from the police.

Competing pressures and priorities on police time had led to inconsistent enforcement - resulting in many motorists having a blatant disregard for the law.

To assess the scale of the problem, the council carried out a monitoring exercise in a small sample of bus lanes and found 240 vehicles illegally driving in them over a 12 hour period.

It is intended to introduce camera enforcement in phases as part of a rolling programme.

Phase one will go live on 1 June and the first lanes to be enforced are:

  • Cleveland Street - city centre
  • Stafford Street/A449 outbound between Red Hill Street Clinic and Five Ways Island
  • Wolverhampton Road/Wednesfield Road A4124 inbound to Wolverhampton
  • Wolverhampton Road A4124 outbound
  • Willenhall Road A454 inbound and outbound

Councillors will hear that once the £183,000 initial set up and ongoing maintenance costs are paid for, any surplus money raised by penalties will be used to improve the city's roads and public transport.

Penalty charge notices of £60 will be served to motorists found to be driving in bus lanes illegally. The charge will be reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.

Councillor Peter Bilson, cabinet member for city assets, said: "Bus lanes exist to encourage public transport by improving reliability and reducing congestion.

"Inconsistent enforcement over the years has led to some motorists having a blatant disregard for the law because they believe they will get away with it.

"From Monday 1 June, in common with many other towns and cities across the country, we will use cameras which are able to automatically read vehicle registration numbers to deal with this problem.

"We aren't looking to catch anyone out, anyone who has passed their driving test knows you can't drive in a bus lane during certain hours. As a reminder, there will be signage placed on lanes. We are also advertising the change in the local media, on social media and on our website.

"Any surplus income, over and above the costs of introducing the scheme will be invested back into Wolverhampton's roads. As long as people obey the law and don't drive in bus lanes, they have nothing at all to worry about."

  • released: Friday 22 May, 2015