A BUSY bus lane in the heart of the city centre will now be policed by traffic cameras in a clampdown on drivers using it to jump the queues and beat congestion on one of Worcester’s busiest roads.
County highways chiefs have given the green light for cameras to be installed on the Lowesmoor bus lane has after it was described as a ‘location of significant delay’ to the cross-city route for Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
The Lowesmoor to St Nicholas Street bus will be policed 24 hours a day, seven days a week while the section from Sansome Street to Lowesmoor bus lane will be watched from 3.30pm to 6.30pm every day in a bid to curb congestion.
The Sansome Street to Lowesmoor bus lane is part-time and enforcing it by camera will help reduce traffic flow on Lowesmoor which will overall improve traffic for buses which are often delayed due to congestion on this busy section.
For the first two weeks of operation, drivers will be issued with a warning letter rather than a penalty charge notice (PCN). There will then be a two-week period without PCN issues.
Following this four-week grace period, the bus lane enforcement scheme will begin issuing PCN’s to all vehicles using the bus lane illegally.
The Observer first reported on motorists using the lane illegally more than three years ago after a frustrated city driver claimed the lane was regularly abused during peak times by ‘between 50 and 100 cars’.
County chiefs have reminded motorists the only vehicles which can use bus lanes are buses and all emergency vehicles and hope the move will help the essential service to Worcestershire Royal Hospital run smoothly.
Coun Alan Amos, cabinet member for Highways said: “The vast majority of motorists do follow the rules but unfortunately the minority use the bus lanes illegally which causes disruptions for other road users and congestion, as this area suffers from air pollution, this measure also helps to address that environmental concern.”
“Given this is on the main route from the city to the hospital for buses, it is essential we ensure buses are not delayed on this vital route, which is currently a problem.”
“With restrictions on public transport due to social distancing measures, students returning back to school and university, this will see a rise in use of public transport, which makes it the right time to implement this scheme.”