Bus lane camera in Charles Street, Leicester, to be shut down
Controversial bus lane enforcement is to be suspended along a busy city centre street while roadworks are carried out.
Work on the latest stages of a £3.5 million revamp of Humberstone Gate East will start tomorrow.
The works will take place at the junction of Charles Street and Humberstone Gate East until Sunday, March 17.
Official say that means the camera which catches motorists straying into the bus-only zone will be turned off until then.
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It was put into place in July, along with another covering Causeway Lane, near the High Cross shopping centre, and in the first four months they caught 19,000 drivers, generating £450,000 in fines.
Latest figures from the council show a further 9,889 drivers were caught by the cameras from November to the end of January.
That has so far generated a further £239,000.
The majority of that – £190,000, was from the Charles Street camera.
Deputy city mayor councillor Rory Palmer said: "You can generally see a downward trajectory (of the number of people being caught) with some peaks and troughs. There was a rise in December, I suppose, from people doing Christmas shopping."
Coun Palmer reiterated that cash raised from the cameras is spent on sustainable transport schemes in the city, such as subsidising bus travel for the elderly.
He said: "It is not a cash cow for the council. It is not allowed to be."
The work will affect bus services in Humberstone Gate East and Charles Street, with temporary bus stops put in place.
Staff from First buses and Arriva are expected to be present in the area to advise passengers.
Steve Zanker, general manager of First buses, said: "Our biggest concern it that there will be bit of confusion at the start and it will be an inconvenience for passengers. But if we get the information right, people will get used to it.
"In the long-term the improvements at Humberstone Gate East will make things a lot better for bus passengers."
The Humberstone Gate East project will include a new road layout and bus stops, better crossing points for pedestrians, kerbside loading areas, and a range of environmental improvements.
The final phase of the scheme will involve a section of resurfacing work taking place over the Easter weekend.
Coun Palmer said: "We've seen real improvements in that part of town, which has been a bit neglected. We are redressing that imbalance."