Published December 18, 2015 at 10:34
Drivers caught using bus lanes in Blackburn and Darwen could face £60 fines when new enforcement cameras go live in the new year.
Bus lane enforcement will start in February 2016 and is designed to discourage irresponsible drivers who wilfully ignore traffic regulations and drive down bus lanes, slowing up bus passengers and putting cyclists at risk.
It will also improve journey times for motorists, cyclists and public transport users. All lanes will be clearly signed both on the highway and on lampposts on the approach.
The enforcement – already in place in other major cities around the country – will initially commence in bus lanes on:
- Blackburn Rd, Earcroft, Darwen
- Bolton Rd, Ewood
- Copy Nook
All information on bus lanes and bus lane enforcement can be found at: http://www.blackburn.gov.uk/Pages/Bus-lane-enforcement.aspx
The cameras use Automatic Number Plate Recognition to identify cars that drive down bus lanes and result in the driver receiving a £60 Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) which is reduced to £30 if it is paid within 14 days.
Bus lanes used to be enforced by the police although the Government have encouraged local authorities to take over these powers.
They are used to help manage the highway network, improve air quality, encourage more people to cycle and use public transport as buses can travel more quickly around the borough.
The enforcement is part of the Pennine Reach programme, which will encourage increased bus travel and improve traffic flow through the borough.
Councillor Phil Riley, Executive Member for Regeneration, said:
This is part of a wider package of transport work to make it easier and quicker to get around Blackburn and Darwen.
The vast majority of motorists do follow the rules but there is an irresponsible and selfish minority who drive down bus lanes, slowing up buses and disrupting other road users, which is obviously not fair on others. A very significant amount of money has been invested by both the government and the Council and it makes no sense to allow this minority to prevent everyone else from getting the full benefits from the scheme.
It’s not about penalising people who may inadvertently stray into a bus lane for a few moments but deterring drivers who just use them to get around quicker than others. Once they receive a fine we hope that they will think twice about using bus lanes in future.”
The council will use the charges it raises through bus lane enforcement on the highways network and transport schemes. All lanes will have clear signs warning people of the risks of driving down bus lanes.