ALMOST 3,000 drivers have been caught using the 24-hour bus lane on Lode Lane in just seven months.
Traffic cameras were installed on the road in September 2017 after the bus lane was introduced to ‘improve traffic flow and make faster public transport journey times’ between Jaguar Land Rover and the town centre.
Since the cameras were turned on 3,198 motorists have been fined for using the lane which is only permitted to be used by buses,
pedal bikes, motorcycles and Hackney Carriages.
Private hire taxis cannot use any of the bus lanes.
According to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request handed to Solihull Council by The Observer £63,009 has been collected in fines from 1,910 motorists.
The bus lane is in operation 24 hours a day because of shift change overs at JLR are at 5.30am and 10pm fall outside of alternate 7am to 7pm restrictions.
The FOI revealed any income received from fines will be put the revenue towards the operational and system maintenance
costs in guidance with Regulation 36 Bus Lane Contraventions (Penalty Charges, Adjudication and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2005 and if there is a surplus, the Council may use this to support its general fund or to fund public transport or highway improvement schemes.
Work on the Lode Lane Enhancement Scheme began in August 2015 in a bid to create a dedicated bus lane along three sections of Lode Lane as well as improvements to street lighting and for pedestrians and cyclists.
The project saw a £5.331million investment in the route between Solihull town centre, Jaguar Land Rover and North Solihull.
The scheme also included improvements to pedestrian and cycling facilities, including the introduction of an off-carriageway, shared-use cycle lane between the A45 Coventry Road and Solihull town centre.
All traffic lights were upgraded along the route, including new pedestrian crossing facilities.
All carriageways and footways along the route were resurfaced.
The three stretches of bus lane, in the direction of Solihull town centre only (southbound), are located between the canal bridge and the junction with Rowood Drive, between Moat Lane and Hermitage Road, and between the junction with Grove Road and Poplar Road.
In the town centre, the bus and cycle-only lane now connects Lode Lane with the previously no-through road between Radcliffe House and Brueton Gardens, thereby removing incoming buses from the busy Lode Lane/Warwick Road roundabout.