FINES issued for illegally using the Lowesmoor bus lane have fallen by over 5,000 - but there are still concerns over air quality on the road.

The council’s cameras went live in late 2020 with drivers – including taxis – facing a fine of £60 if found to be illegally using the key city route.

The Lowesmoor to St Nicholas Street lane is enforceable round the clock, while the Sansome Street to Lowesmoor lane is in force from 3.30pm to 6.30pm each day.

A freedom of information request submitted by the Worcester News has revealed that in 2022/2023, there has been 8,449 penalties issued, generating a £60,166 surplus after costs.

This has fallen from 14,439 penalties that were issued to drivers in 2021/2022, generating a £205,845 surplus after costs.

Cllr Lynn Denham, Worcestershire County Councillor for Rainbow Hill, said despite the fall in fines - she is concerned with the air quality in the area from the traffic Lowesmoor experiences.

She said: "Despite the bus lane and the traffic restrictions, Lowesmoor remains one of the worst parts of Worcester for poor air quality.  

"I am concerned that there may be dirty buses polluting Lowsmoor whilst cleaner vehicles sit in the afternoon traffic jam that goes along City Walls Road, Saint Martins Gate and Pheasant St.  

"The county council need to invest this income to deliver on their responsibilities for air quality improvement in Worcester."

Enforcement on the road started in October 2020 - with 6.456 penalties issued in 2020/2021, generating £30,000 deficit.

Worcestershire County Council has previously said the bus lane enforcement revenue is assigned to support road safety and other highways improvements.

The freedom of information request said: "To date the end of financial year bus lane enforcement surplus has been carried forward to ensure the following year costs are covered.

"That is because as a new operation the costs and income have been very variable. The number of PCNs issued in 2022/23 was significantly lower than the previous year.

"This downward trend is to be expected and has continued during the current financial year (4509 to the end of October, down from 5911 at the same time last year).

"Surplus in bus lane enforcement revenue is assigned to support road safety and other highways improvements."

Cllr Mike Rouse, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “The data provided shows that the number of non-public service vehicles using the bus lanes are continuing to reduce.

"Councillor colleagues have continued to raise the issue about also allowing taxis into the bus lane with me.

"In my role as cabinet member, I'm continuing to explore the options available to us as the Highway Authority on this.”