A controversial new CCTV system which automatically fines motorists has earned Redbridge Council nearly £120,000 in just three months, it has emerged.

The Videalert system, the first of its kind used by a local authority, has issued 915 fines of £130 for traffic offences since going live on November 25.

The exact revenue figure has not been finalised as the fines are halved if payment is made early and some may be subject to appeal, but the total could be as high as £118,950.

The AA and RAC criticised the use of the system, saying it was sold as a money-making option and there could be problems with road lay outs or signs.

But the council has robustly defended its use of the system.

A spokesman for Redbridge Council said: “The level of penalty notices issued should give an indication of just how many motorists were breaking road safety rules in these areas, and were happy to take a risk with their own or other people’s lives.

“This is entirely why safety measures like the introduction of CCTV was necessary.

“We understand that income generation is a by-product of the process but any surplus generated is reinvested in the highway network. The vast majority of drivers do not break the rules and should have no concern.”

The cameras were installed in Johnston Road, High Road and Snakes Lane West in Woodford Green, Chadwell Heath Lane and High Road, in Chadwell Heath, and High Road and Clements Road, Ilford.