In a Freedom of Information request the Echo has revealed the eye-watering sum of over £1m made by the council in bus lane fines over three financial years.

SCC insists that they are committed to reducing congestion and pollution, so the penalties are enforced to facilitate bus movement and to keep traffic flowing across the city.

However, the measures and policies they have implemented are contradictory to the claims they make.

Going back some years now, SCC narrowed the road along Shirley High Street and removed bus laybys, replacing them with bus stop boxes marked on the traffic lane, resulting in ever worsening congestion with long queues of traffic, as nothing can pass a stationary bus on such a narrow road.

They also installed traffic islands in the middle of the road, which admittedly make it safer for pedestrians to cross the road, but also create an obstacle for moving traffic.

The resulting congestion and pollution in Shirley has been so bad ever since that it is not only a hazard to both health and the environment, but a risk to life and limb for cyclists.

Further along Shirley Road, they installed a bus lane, which extends for such a short distance, perhaps a couple of hundred yards, that it is questionable whether it benefits bus movement to any appreciable degree, other than through the Foyes Corner traffic lights.

There is no bus lane on the opposite side of the road and no bus lanes along either side of Shirley High Street, and indeed there is no room in either location, so I have to ask what is the real purpose of the Shirley Road bus lane especially as the camera is operational 24/7?

I asked the council why this is so but received no answer. The signs no doubt meet guidelines, but are not very prominent in daylight hours and at nighttime are easily missed, so many must be unwittingly falling into the trap in the hours of darkness.

Now that the Council has admitted plans for many more bus lanes and cameras with more charges, and even on Mountbatten Way where there is no bus route, we have irrefutable evidence that traps are being set for motorists, and Councillor Jeremy Moulton is spot on when he considers that "Labour sees the motorist as a cash cow", and are "quite open about this."

All bus lane cameras should be removed, and all Penalty Charge Notices issued to date should be cancelled with the fines refunded, as SCC is deceiving motorists with this fraudulent scam.

This has been suggested before, but surely a more effective way to reduce traffic and congestion would be a Park and Ride scheme supported by a network of bus lanes.

To add insult to injury, in another attack on motorists, 20mph signs have been installed anywhere and everywhere it seems across the city, whether needed or not.

Council workmen informed me they had to install over 800 of them. The speed limit is appropriate around schools and hospitals but is a step too far on main arterial routes like Shirley Road.

Whilst they are waging war on motorists, SCC has cut essential services, reduced refuse collection to fortnightly, the city streets are filthy with litter and fly tipping, the pothole budget has been axed and nothing is done about the growing numbers of homeless begging on the streets.

We know the Labour administration wants to make life so miserable for motorists that we give up our cars.

Whilst they should be working for the people, they are hell instead hell bent on control.

Carol Scarborough