Auckland bus lane takes $1.2 million in fines off drivers

An Auckland bus lane has turned into a trap for unsuspecting drivers, raking in over $1 million in fines in just a year.

Newmarket's Kingdon St to Broadway transit lane is only 150-metres long - however 8462 drivers were caught breaking its rules between November 2016 and 2017.

Transit lanes are limited to certain vehicles during peak periods in order to decrease congestion and ensure smooth traffic flow. Motorists are only allowed to enter them 50 metres before making a left turn.

In total, Auckland Transport (AT) doled out $1.27 million in fines to unwary motorists, according to figures released to Stuff.

AT spokesman James Ireland says it's been an "ongoing battle" to prevent motorists from entering the lanes.

"This not about raising money, this is about compliance, and keeping the city moving," Mr Ireland told Stuff.

"Buses are the backbone of Auckland's public transport system and it's essential that they can move as freely as possible, and this is why bus and transit lanes are so important."

But even this pales in comparison to the revenue the Waterview Tunnel gathered in the early weeks it was opened.

Four speed cameras captured 9756 people going over the strict 80km/h speed limit in its first six weeks.

Data released by police showed $948,220 in fines was issued - nearly one fine every six minutes. Police insist the fines are not a revenue-gathering exercise.