A FRUSTRATED motorist has called for a clampdown on drivers using a bus lane to jump the queues and beat congestion on one of Worcester’s busiest roads.
Darren Forster claims motorists are frequently turning left from Sansome Street onto Lowesmoor using the feeder lane between 3.30pm and 6pm each day when it should only used by buses, taxis and bikes.
Mr Forster told the Observer he regularly sees between 50 and 100 cars using the lane while he was waiting in the traffic.
He makes the journey to Worcester most Friday’s from Ludlow to help with the TabCH (Tything, Arboretum, Barbourne and Claines Community Hub) at the Aspie office on Sansome Walk.
Meetings usually end between 3.30pm and 4pm when Mr Forster said the ‘awful task’ of trying to leave the city began.
“The quickest route I’ve found at this time out of Worcester is to go past Asda, turn left at the roundabout and left again going along past Staples and Aldi before turning right and going up onto Rainbow Hill. It would be quicker to just turn left before Asda.
“Either Worcester has an awful lot of unlicensed taxis, many of which don’t even know what a red light is for or there are a lot of people jumping the massive queue.
“It does seem really unfair on us law abiding citizens who have to go all the way round, waste loads of petrol stuck in queues that so many people jump the queue and use the bus lane illegally.
“If the council can’t be bothered doing anything about these motorists why not just abandon the bus lane there altogether, remove the signage and help reduce the gridlock and time and petrol wasted by other motorists trying to exit the city?” he added.
Coun Marcus Hart, Worcestershire County Council cabinet member for Highways, said the bus lane had resulted in a considerable reduction in traffic and ‘noticeable’ improvements in ambient air quality.
“Ensuring safe air quality was the reason that these restrictions were originally implemented, and the removal of restrictions would relocate queues from Sansome Street into Lowesmoor itself, causing a significant deterioration in ambient air quality and a severe public health issue.
“We are aware of problems with drivers failing to observe the traffic restrictions, but enforcement is a matter for the police,” he added.
A West Mercia Police spokesperson said: “Safer neighbourhood teams continue to monitor this area alongside other operational commitments and carry out enforcement where necessary.
“Motorists are reminded that this is a bus lane during certain hours of the day and you should not drive in it during its period of operation.”