THE fact that motorists have paid around £6 million to Bradford Council in bus lane fines in the last three years will be enough to raise a few eyebrows.

Most people recognise the importance of bus lanes being kept clear to improve the punctuality of services, so there’s clearly a need for some degree of enforcement action against drivers who don’t comply with the regulations.

However, when the amount of cash collected reaches eyewatering proportions, it’s not surprising that critics start describing the figures as “shocking” and branding the fines system a “nice little earner.”

At the very heart of the debate is the question of balance.

In order to protect the free movement of bus services in the district, is it really necessary for the local authority to dish out fines totalling around £2m every year?

Does there come a time when the sheer number of people being fined creates a perception that the cameras are not only catching the brazen, care-free rule-breakers, but are also snaring many well-meaning motorists whose indiscretions may stem from confusion rather than impatience?

Back in 2011, the Telegraph & Argus reported on the shock that greeted news that the Council had collected more than £1m in the first year of operation for the bus lane cameras.

Six years on - and with the annual revenue having pretty much doubled - perhaps it’s time for a review into why so many motorists are still falling foul of the rules and whether the warning signs are indeed sufficient.