Headlines: August 31st, 2007

From this weekend Nottingham City Council is to get tougher with drivers who use bus lanes illegally. The city, which has invested in pioneering technology to support its action, is taking the step as part of its campaign to get more people to use public transport.

Anyone who makes illegal use of bus lanes to gain advantage over queuing traffic can now expect action to be taken against them. The council says there will be no exceptions and the law will apply equally to cars, motorbikes, scooters and licensed taxis. Cameras will detect drivers using bus lanes illegally and a 60 pound fine will be issued.

The council has invested in pioneering CCTV technology that can record traffic flow in bus lanes around the city. Cameras relay images to a central control room where trained officers will scan the data to judge in each case if a driver is acting illegally. Those judged to have done so will be identified through their registration numbers and the registered keeper of the vehicle will be sent a Penalty Charge Notice.

The standard 60 pound fine will be reduced to 30 pounds if it is paid within 14 days, so drivers are being alerted to the need to take immediate action either to pay the penalty or appeal. Failure to do so within 28 days will see the fine rise to 90 pounds.

The city believes drivers’ illegal use of bus lanes delay bus passengers and that using the new enforcement system will help buses run more reliably, which in turn will encourage more people to use them.

Brian Parbutt, the council’s cabinet member for Transport, Economic Development and Skills said, “This enforcement supports an ongoing commitment by Nottingham City Council to increase the use of public transport and reduce traffic pollution. Drivers are advised to pay attention to road signs and markings which clearly indicate the start and end of bus lanes and highlight the hours of operation to avoid being fined.”