Drivers who cut through a bus zone in West Bromwich town centre will face fines of up to £90 from the end of November.
Council bosses are aiming to clamp down on the thousands of drivers who are routinely flouting the bus lane rules in New Street by using the stretch as a short cut. And they have been warned that from November 21 they will be hit in the pocket if they drive through the pedestrianised bus zone.
CCTV cameras have been put up and will be switched on in two weeks’ time when they will be used to catch out drivers red-handed Up to 3,000 motorists have been ignoring the warnings in the zone, which runs past Sandwell College’s Central Sixth Form campus, off High Street, forcing highways bosses to take action.
Now anyone who is caught will be sent a £60 fine. If paid within 14 days, the fine will reduce to £30 After 14 days it is £60 and if it has still not been paid within 28 days it will rise to £90
Bosses at Sandwell Council said cameras were the last resort but that they were determined to make New Street safer by putting a stop to drivers breaking the rules, Buses have also been held up by the stream of cars passing through the zone. Only buses, Hackney carriage taxis and cyclists are allowed to pass through.
Chiefs are hopeful the threat of a fine will have the desired effect like it has in other areas, such as Wolverhampton, where bus lane cameras around the city centre have proved successful in stopping drivers taking the law into their own hands.
The proposals were backed by councillors earlier this year. The council’s highways boss Councillor David Hosell said: “We want to improve safety and access for pedestrians, including shoppers, visitors and sixth formers, who currently face high volumes of traffic when crossing this road.
“We also want to cut congestion and delays to bus services calling at the bus station. CCTV enforcement is the last option and one which will help keep the town square area safe for pedestrians, cyclists and bus users and reduce congestion affecting the buses.”