Permanent enforcement cameras will be installed at three bus gate locations in Colchester next month to deter drivers from using these routes illegally.
Following recent improvements to signs and road markings at Hythe Station Road, Hythe Hill and North Station Road, preparations are now being made to install the cameras during September 2017.
Bus lanes and gates help to deliver reliable bus services and avoid congestion as a full single-decker bus can take up to 40 cars off the road.
For a limited period only, warning notices will be sent to drivers who use these bus gates illegally, giving them an opportunity to adjust their driving behaviour before penalty charge notices are issued to all offenders.
No new restrictions are being introduced at these locations so the majority of road users will be unaffected by the introduction of cameras. However, those who do breach the regulations in future can expect to receive a Penalty Charge Notice of £60, which would reduce to £30 if paid within 14 days.
The move to protect bus lanes and bus gates comes just weeks after Essex County Council and Colchester Borough Council met to create a joined up transport network across the town, including exploring improvements to public transport and the Park & Ride service.
Cllr Ian Grundy, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “Bus gates and bus lanes are already enforceable by Essex Police, however, we have decided to install cameras at these sites due to the high number of people who continue to use them illegally. It is important they remain free to help buses run on time and reduce congestion.
“Any fines we receive from penalty charge notices are reinvested to help improve Essex’s road and transport network.
“We will continue to explore the option of using camera enforcement at other key locations in Essex.”
Drivers are always encouraged to check approach signs and bus gate and bus lane restrictions as they can differ from location to location, including operating times. No new restrictions are being introduced to these locations, which are operational 24/7 and allow use by:
- Hackney Carriage Taxis
- Private hire vehicles
- There are other exceptions including emergency vehicles, winter gritting vehicles etc. These are defined within the Traffic Regulation Order.