MOTORISTS have been hit with fines that could total more than £225,000 in just four weeks - for dropping off passengers at Ealing Broadway station.

More than 5,500 drivers have been snapped by what some have described as a "Big Brother" style camera that was installed in May aimed at stopping people from being dropped off outside the station.

Dummy notices were sent out to nearly 1,000 people in the first month as a warning, but since then an average of more than 1,100 people a week have been hit with fines of £50 - which increase to £100 if not paid within 14 days.

Angry motorists have complained to the council claiming the camera is not properly signed and there is nowhere to set passengers down safely. And the council recommended people use the double yellow lines on the other side of the road.

But Ealing resident Jonathan Bates, who has received two fines, said: "I drop my girlfriend at the station every morning and if I drop her over the other side she will be stepping out into the traffic in front of double decker buses.

"It would then be very difficult to get across the traffic if I want to turn left at the end of the road into the one way system.

"After I got my fines I went to the station but I could not see any signs warning about the camera and I saw at least 15 people stopping in that area in a ten-minute period."

An access road outside the station, run by First Great Western Railway, has been coned off for several months, making it impossible to use as a drop-off point.

A statement from the train company said: "This access road is closed for security reasons to stop vehicles parking outside the station.

"These measures were put in place before the recent security scares."

Money raised from the fines goes into Ealing Council's parking revenue account which is used for new transport and road safety schemes in the borough.

A spokesman for the council said: "For four weeks after the camera was installed we sent out dummy notices to the people caught on it warning them of the camera which is there to back the rules of the Highway Code.

"The camera was only monitored periodically during this time which is why fewer people received these warnings.

"There are signs up on the bus stops warning about parking there, but new signs are being installed very soon."

Senior councillors voted on Tuesday to change the policy which allowed transport officers to decide where new enforcement measures are used, meaning they now have to check with the councillor for transport, Wolodymyr Barczuk.

This decision came after complaints about fines given to drivers caught on camera while moving into a box junction in Greenford between Mansell Road and Ruislip Road.

There will be no enforcement at the Greenford junction while a review is carried out.