Drivers hit with £80,000 in fines as bus lane camera catches thousands in South Shields town centre

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The number of drivers caught driving down bus lanes in South Shields town centre has multiplied ten-fold.

Thousands of motorists have found themselves hit with a £60 fine after being snared by cameras in Fowler Street.

Ideally, we would not have to issue any fines, however using a bus lane is illegal and unsafe and we would encourage motorists to observe the restrictions to avoid receiving a penalty.

Council spokesman

It has been reported income from bus lanes has risen from £8,505 in 2015 to £81,245 within the first six months of this year.

Between April and June 2017, a total of 1,942 drivers have been caught on the Fowler Street, South Shields.

A council spokesman said the rise across South Tyneside to the number of drivers being caught was due to the change in location for the cameras.

It is the not the first time the council have come under fire regarding cameras monitoring bus lanes.

Earlier this year, the installation of a camera to watch over a bus gate in Edinburgh Road has attracted criticism.

Withing weeks of the camera being installed 800 drivers were caught.

It has led to calls from residents to have it taken out with an online petition launched by one driver.

The petition has attracted more than 1,000 signatures to date.

Barry Young, who sparked the petition is now calling on people to get behind it before it is handed over to the council next month.

He said: “I’m very hopeful something can be done. I have had a lot of people getting behind the petition.

“I have had meetings with one of the local councillors and the petition will be handed over to the council.

“It’s only a matter of time before someone is hurt on this road.

“I am hoping for some positive changes in the area to make the area safer, as people are concerned for their children’s safety.”

A council spokesperson said: “The bus lane on Fowler Street is clearly signed and complies with the requisite Department for Transport regulations, as do all the other bus lanes in the borough.

“Video cameras automatically record incidents of people illegally driving in a bus lane and their vehicle registration plate.

“Vehicle owners have the right to appeal if they feel the ticket has been wrongly issued. Details on how to do so can be found on the reverse of the Penalty Charge Notice.

“Ideally, we would not have to issue any fines, however using a bus lane is illegal and unsafe and we would encourage motorists to observe the restrictions to avoid receiving a penalty.”

To sign the Edinburgh Road petition visit www.change.org/p/south-tyneside-council-remove-bus-gate-from-edinburgh-road-south-tyneside