CCTV Catches Bus Lane Motorists
5,000 motorists fined after being caught by CCTV using a bus lane in Chelmsford city centre.
19:27 14 September 2017
25 days after installing a CCTV camera, Essex County Council has fined more than 4,843 motorists for using a bus lane in Chelmsford city centre, raising close to £300,000.
The deluge of fines was criticised by drivers, calling it a “sneaky move.”
One driver hit with a £60 fine said: "I think the council has been a bit sneaky in the way they've done this.
"The supposed ban on using the bus lane came in years ago but everyone I knew ignored it.
"I think they should have clearer signs so people know the cameras are finally up and running."
Meanwhile, Jack Cousens, from the AA, said that the sheer volume of fines could be an indication of a problem.
"To have a bus lane issuing 186 tickets a day is excessive, and that means that something's not right - either the design of the street is incorrect, or the signage is incorrect.
"So, there has to be a fundamental problem there, and it's very difficult for a council that has now suddenly got a revenue stream that it didn't once have, to switch that off," he said.
However, an Essex County Council spokesperson said: "It has been illegal to drive through the bus gate at Duke Street in Chelmsford since 2011.
"Before turning on enforcement cameras, we increased signage at all junctions leading to the bus gate, sent more than 3,000 warning notices and painted the words "bus gate" in large letters on the road at both entrances to help make drivers aware of the restrictions.
"Since we began to issue penalty charge notices, the number of people illegally using the bus gate has more than halved from around 400 a day to less than 200.
"This has helped to ensure buses at the nearby bus station can run on time, has stopped cars using the city centre as a rat-run and has increased safety for pedestrians using this busy junction close to Chelmsford railway station.