Six more spy cameras soon to catch drivers parking in Bristol's bus lanes
Six more spy cameras will soon be installed in Bristol to catch drivers who park illegally in the city’s bus lanes.
They will be mounted on lamp posts and can be easily moved around to different sites.
A council spokeswoman insisted the cameras were to keep bus lanes clear and therefore prevent traffic congestion - there was no agenda to use them as a revenue earner to ease the civic budget.
But a few weeks ago it was revealed that the council raised more than £1.5 million over three years from illegal bus lane parking.
The cameras, which use state-of-the-art technology to recognise registration plates on vehicles, have been bought from a Frome-based company with a contract phased over three years.
They use infrared technlogy which means they can read number plates in the dark.
They also use tamper-proof security packs which means the video can be used in court cases if an infringement is disputed.
They automatically recognise vehicles such as buses, taxis and fire tenders which are allowed to use bus lanes.
The £103,000 contract for 10 cameras has seen four already installed, another two which are about to be fitted and four more awaiting delivery.
The council spokeswoman said: “We are still catching too many people driving illegally in bus lanes and it’s impacting on bus reliability.
“People may think we like raising the money, but in fact we just need to persuade people to obey the rules.
“Fixed camera enforcement means that the camera will catch offenders every time. So if they have more sense than money they will stop doing it, and that’s all we ask.
“Our aim is to make zero pounds and zero pence from bus lane enforcement, and for everyone to do the right thing and stay on the right side of the line.”
Steve Hill, managing director of SEA, the firm supplying the cameras, said: “I am confident that the SEA ROADflow system will lower offence rates and minimise traffic disruption.”
The council already uses two Fiesta vans which have a camera fitted on the roof to spot illegal parkers.
Drivers who have infringed parking rules are sent a £70 fixed penalty notice which is reduced to £35 if paid within 21 days.
The specially-adapted vans, which cost £44,000 each, are used to detect parking contraventions at schools, keep clear zig-zag markings, bus stops, pedestrian crossings, taxi ranks, hospital emergency spaces and where a loading restriction is in place.
During the period between 2010 and 2013, more than 57,000 tickets have been issued for driving in bus lanes.
The council said this was the time when drivers were getting used to new restrictions.