Drivers pay millions in bus lane fines

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Motorists are paying millions of pounds for minor infringements after a record number of fines were issued.

Figures suggest that drivers are paying £135m a year after being caught on cameras blocking box junctions or straying into bus lanes.

About 1.32 million fines were issued for minor offences in 2011/12, a record and 16 per cent more than the previous year.

Drivers in London were hit hardest, being penalised 850,000 times in 2012/13 compared with 797,000 times the year before.

Reading Council handed out the most penalty charges of any council outside the capital, issuing 101,000 fines in 2011/12.

Overall, councils outside London issued 527,027 fines in 2011/12, compared with 357,788 the year before.

Motoring organisations accused councils of targeting drivers.

An RAC spokeswoman said: “It really does look as though motorists are being used to raise revenue for cash-strapped councils.

“Cameras need to be set up fairly and signed clearly so that drivers are not unduly punished for minor errors just to generate more money for the authorities. Motorists are generally law abiding and want to obey the rules.”