|Ealing's bus lane bonanza|
Council comes second in table of fine enforcers
According to figures released from the Association of London Government, 63,967 fines were issued in the Borough of Ealing last year to motorists who strayed into a bus lanes.
This sizeable figures represent a rise of 17.3% on the previous year when 54,519 motorist were caught on camera and puts Ealing in second place out of all London Boroughs.
The most effective enforcers were Lambeth's traffic wardens with 65,907 charges although Transport for London issued the most fines overall.
Last year 835,454 London drivers succumbed to the temptation to nip into the bus lane which cost them dearly. London Councils collected a staggering £84 million in bus lane fines alone, an increase of 10% from the previous year.
With bus lanes fines costing £100 a time (or £50 if paid within 14 days) last year proved another bonanaza for Ealing's bus lane 'big brother' with estimated revenues of £6 million.
Conservative Transport Spokesman, Cllr Will Brooks, said the amount of revenue raised by Ealing Council on bus lane fines had skewed its priorities. He stated, “We have a high level of CCTV in Ealing but it should be concentrating on street crime detection rather than minor traffic violations. The police have criticised the Council in the past for skewing CCTV in a revenue raising direction and these figures underline the point."
He continued, "But it is also concerning that the Council’s revenue stream is skewing its transport policy. Bus lanes can in certain circumstances help with congestion, but there is no excuse for 24 hour bus lanes unless you just want to catch people out."
Such steep rises in fines could be attributed to the fact that there are more CCTV cameras per capita in Britain than in any country in the world, making us the most closely watched people on earth.
March 22, 2006