These Lancashire bus lanes are set to be enforced by cameras

A series of bus lanes across Lancashire are set to be enforced by cameras in an attempt to improve compliance with the restrictions.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 1:44 pm
Updated Friday, 11th June 2021, 2:10 pm

Eight established bus-only routes across Burnley, Accrington and Lancaster will be monitored by the technology after plans were approved by Lancashire County Council’s cabinet.

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New traffic orders have been issued to ensure that the introduction of the cameras meets the necessary traffic sign regulations.

Cameras will soon be watching over bus-only routes like this right-hand turn on King Street in Accrington (image: Google)

Shaun Turner, who holds the newly-created environment and climate change portfolio at the authority, said it was vital to “encourage rapid bus journeys if we want to attract people to use public transport”.

His highways and transport cabinet colleague Charlie Edwards said that the bus network was a primary source of “greener travel” across the county, which the authority was keen to support “as much as we possibly can”.

A report presented to members stated: “The implementation of camera enforcement will facilitate efficient bus service operation, ensure that the bus lane restrictions are respected and allow them to fulfil the purpose for which they were designed.”

WHERE ARE THE CAMERAS GOING?

These are the bus lane routes where camera enforcement can now be introduced:

ACCRINGTON

***King Street – small section preventing right turn beneath the viaduct.

***Whalley Street – between Burnley Road and Peel Street.

BURNLEY

***A671 Padiham Road – eastbound from just before the junction with Mitchell Street to the roundabout

***Westway – westbound from just past the Accrington Road junction to close to the roundabout junction with Barracks Road.

***Church Street - between Active Way and School Lane

LANCASTER

***North Road – between Damside Street and Rosemary Lane/Chapel Street

An exemption will also be introduced for cycles and authorised vehicles, with the latter intended to allow entry for the purpose of loading/unloading to premises situated on, or adjacent to, North Road between Chapel Street and Damside Street along with vehicles accessing the service area at the rear of properties on Rosemary Lane, Church Street and North Road.

However, “authorised vehicles” are defined as those which have been given permission by the council, in writing, to access the route for the purpose outlined above. The new arrangement will replace the general “except for access” exemption currently in operation.

Taxis are already permitted to use the route and will continue to be so.

***Wood Street – between Cable Street and Damside Street

***Around the bus station concourse

BUS GATE PROPOSAL RUNS OUT OF ROAD

An initial plan to introduce an official camera-enforced “bus gate” on Chapel Street between the entrance to the car park and Butterfield Street was scrapped when it emerged that a planned development will close off access to Chapel Street from Butterfield Street – thereby removing the only alternative route to allow access to properties south of the proposed restriction.

It had been intended that the bus gate would have a defined exemption for authorised vehicles that would have to register in order to use the route. This was deemed easier to enforce than the current “prohibition of driving” notice which has a more general “except for access” exemption and is open to abuse by drivers taking a short cut through the city centre.

This would have replaced the current Prohibition of Driving except for buses and access. The current restriction is difficult to enforce due to the nature of the ‘except for access’ exemption. The new bus gate would replace ‘except for access’ with a provision of ‘except for authorised vehicles’.

However, the complications caused by the development means that the current restrictions will remain in place, with monitoring undertaken to determine how widely they are being flouted and consideration of what were described simply as “different methods of enforcement”.