If you live in Birmingham you will almost certainly have picked up on the controversy concerning the bus lane enforcement in the city this autumn. Whilst no-one is suggesting the rules shouldn’t be enforced, the signage needs to be clear so people know EXACTLY here they can drive and where they can’t drive. This is particularly so in the vicinity of the Children’s Hospital and Law Courts. If something over and above what is statutory is required to make things crystal clear, then so be it.
When the numbers of people fined keep on mounting up, common sense tells you that maybe things are not quite so clear as they could be.
Something also needs to be done about the people who have clocked up multiple tickets before realising they have even done something wrong. We were told at Committee of at least once case where the bill was several thousand pounds. Not a nice Christmas present.
At today’s Scrutiny Committee, we asked the senior officers present exactly how much gross income the Council has made from bus lane enforcement this autumn. We were told the officers didn’t have the figures, but when I pursued it, we were promised we would get an email telling us later today.
That email duly arrived and I can tell you that up to yesterday, the income from the Bus Lane Enforcement in the city was a whopping £1.727 million. I must say I think it is bad practice of the Council not to release information to Scrutiny Committees when they ask for it on camera, but instead to send members an email with the info later. Isn’t the whole point of recording the meetings so that residents can see and hear what’s going on?