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Controversial 24-hour bus lane fines raise £50,000 for Solihull council in six months

Sarah Mason 15th Jan, 2019

ALMOST £50,000 of fines for motorists using the controversial 24-hour Lode Lane bus lane was collected by Solihull council in just six months.

The money went into the council’s reserves budget, a report to councillors says.

But it is later moved to cover the bus lane’s annual maintenance and operating costs, the council officers’ report to councillors states.

Highways chiefs say £48,569 was raised between April and September last year.

Almost 3,000 motorists were issued with fines for using the lane which is only permitted to be used by buses, pedal bikes, motorcycles and Hackney Carriages.

In 2017/18, £81,569 was paid to the council by flouting motorists.

Solihull Council is predicting a similar sum could be collected by the end of this financial year.

CCTV traffic cameras were installed on the road in September 2017, to ‘improve traffic flow and make faster public transport journey times’ between Jaguar Land Rover and the town centre, the council has said.

The bus lane is in operation 24 hours a day, which the local authority insists is because of shift change-overs at JLR. They are at 5.30am and 10pm and fall outside of alternate 7am to 7pm restrictions.

The project saw a £5.3million 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.

The council officers’ report went to the transport and highways cabinet last week.

Private hire taxis cannot use any of the bus lanes.

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