Nearly two dozen smokers were prosecuted in Birmingham this week after being caught lighting up on buses.
The 23 smokers were taken to Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday after being caught in covert operations carried out by the National Express's Safer Travel partnership on local buses.
The offenders were ordered to pay fines and court costs varying from £200 to £500.
The string of prosecutions brings the total number of people taken to court over smoking to 56 since the smoking ban came into force in July 2007.
National Express has teamed up with Smoke Free UK and Birmingham City Council to crack down on smokers and issue on-the-spot £50 fines for anyone caught smoking.
Tony Dallison, the manager of National Express West Midlands’ Safer Travel partnership, said: “Smoking on buses is not only illegal but unpleasant for other passengers.
“We take this kind of anti-social behaviour very seriously and are working hard at forming valuable partnerships with local government bodies to ensure all buses remain smoke free.
“We recently prosecuted a number of youths under the age of 16 caught lighting-up on local services and now thanks to our work with Smoke Free UK we can immediately react to these incidents by issuing on-the-spot fines.
“So far, we have been very successful at catching smokers through covert operations using the Safer Travel partnership.
“This is down to the commitment of the inspectors and the Safer Travel police team along with continued public support and information.”