More than 75,000 fines have been issued for driving in bus lanes in Brighton & Hove - in 12 months. The fines could total more than £4 million.
The report, issued by Brighton & Hove City Council, shows the number of bus lane penalty charge notices (PCN) issued between April 2018 and April 2019 increased by almost eight times over the previous year.
This increase is due to the introduction of 24 new bus lane cameras which has allowed more coverage of bus lane enforcement throughout the city.
Unsuspecting drivers were quickly being made aware of this increase in camera coverage with over 10,000 fines dropping through drivers' letterboxes in the first month alone.
Fines for the remaining months of the financial year reached around 4,500, indicating that although many drivers had been wising up to the increase in cameras, plenty were still getting caught out.
Driving in the wrong lane wasn't the only misdemeanour drivers were getting penalised for, with improper parking and stopping at bus stops leading to even more fines being issued.
With greater pressure being put on drivers, resistance to the charges surged with a dramatic increase of appeals against the PCNs. Between 2017 and 2018 the council was challenged 35,120 times, and between 2018 and 2019 they were challenged 51,964 times.
Of these challenges, the council won only 26% with 29% being lost and the remaining fines being cancelled.
Brighton & Hove City Council say bus lanes are very clearly marked, and the local authority is not trying to extract money from motorists. They say large amounts of the money received from the fines went towards handing out free bus passes to the elderly and disabled.
If someone is caught then they will be fined, and we make no apologies for this. Bus lanes in the city are there for a number of important reasons – to ensure public transport runs efficiently, to reduce the number of cars and lorries in the city, cut dangerous fuel emissions, improve air quality and to make the city safer for pedestrians.