Council chiefs who have raked in over £80,000 from drivers using bus lanes in South Shields town centre have been backed.
Thousands of motorists have found themselves hit with a £60 fine after being snared by cameras in Fowler Street - £81,245 worth in the first six months of this year.
Between April and June 2017, a total of 1,942 drivers have been caught and a council spokesman said the rise in the number of penalties was due to the change in location for the cameras.
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.”
That view is backed by Gazette readers who took to our Facebook page to make their views known.
Jacqueline Sprouting wrote: “I suppose there’s going to be a stupid petition going around about this. Follow the instructions and there won’t be any fines.
“Its been a bus lane for years and years.”
Lee Field agreed.
She said: “Signs have been up for years. It been a bus lane for years so people going through it and getting fined is their own fault.”
Robert Waugh added: “If you can’t read the massive signs by the side of the road or the markings on the road then you shouldn’t be driving. “If you get a fine then it’s your own fault.
And Ray Easom wrote: “The Fowler Street bus lanes have been in operation for many years and drivers have been abusing them for many years. “It’s about time the council did something about it. There have been huge signs up on the entrances to bus lanes.”
But Jeff Brunt takes exception.
He wrote: “No warning whatever if you pull out of Barrow Street. It’s a trap.”
Kitty Winter added: “Greedy council.”
But Ray Easom wrote: “It’s amazing how many people are calling the council.
“At the end of the day if you use a bus lane illegally you a breaking the Highway Code, hence breaking the law. You can’t pick and choose which parts of the Highway Code you follow.