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How a council grabbed $19,000 from motorists in one hour

Young girl sitting inside of a car and reading fine papers, looking frustrated.
(Image: Getty)

A council in the UK made a road change this week that collected almost $19,000 of fines in the first hour, causing outrage among local motorists.

Birmingham City Council, as first reported by The Metro, converted well-used thoroughfare Sheepcote Street into a bus only road, in effect from Monday morning.

Traffic cameras then photographed 177 drivers between 7am and 8am who went through the road, presumably not realising that the conditions had changed.

Each faced a penalty of £60, adding up to a tidy £10,620 ($18,992) of revenue racked up in just one hour.

The council posted a notification of the change on its Facebook page over the weekend, and the bus lane is painted red with "Bus Lane" written in large letters at the start of the street.

Birmingham City Council's Facebook post warning motorists of the new bus lane.
(Image: Facebook/Birmingham City Council)

Motorists on social media labelled the change a "trap" designed to secure fines from unsuspecting citizens.

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"There's no way that this so called 'bus lane' conforms to adequate signage/suitable location rules and the fact that so many people are being caught out is a clear demonstration of this," said one Facebook user.

Another motorist commented: "It’s all about the money. nothing else. you just want a way to make money. the council just sit down and come up with ideas of how they can get money out of the public."

A council spokesperson told BirminghamLive that there would be zero fines handed out if drivers didn't illegally use bus lanes.

"With regard to the bus lane in Sheepcote Street, this has been publicised extensively through local media and social media, while there is also clear signage warning motorists of the new measures.

"The message therefore couldn’t be clearer: cross the line, pay the fine.”

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