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Enforcement to start for real on A426 bus lane

Published on Friday, November 25, 2016

DRIVERS who flout the law by illegally driving in a dedicated bus lane will be fined from next week.

Enforcement cameras came into use on November 14 on two parts of the A426 to tackle drivers illegally using bus lanes to cut past queuing traffic.

More than 3,200 motorists were caught using the bus lanes in the first eight days of enforcement, but have been sent warning notices, rather than fines.

From Monday, November 28, drivers using the lane will be fined.

The enforcement cameras cover the inbound carriageway of the A426 Lutterworth Road, at both the approach to Middleton Lane and the approach to Soar Valley Way.

They are operating 24 hours a day, every day.

The fixed penalty notices will be £60, reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.

Enforcement is already in place in four city centre bus gates, at Charles Street (northbound and southbound) Rutland Street and Causeway Lane.

On Charles Street northbound, the number of contraventions has been drastically cut, from 6,049 in July 2012 to just 436 in April 2016.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “In the first two weeks we’ve seen over 4,000 drivers illegally using the bus lanes on Lutterworth Road, despite significant publicity that enforcement had begun.

“I think two weeks is fair time for people to be aware of the rules and heed them.

“These drivers will have received letters telling them they will face fines for real from next Monday, so they will have no excuse of claiming they didn’t know. 

“Bus lane enforcement elsewhere in the city has slashed the number of drivers using them and I hope that the ones at this location will have the same effect.”

The Lutterworth Road bus lane was originally installed back in 2013 as part of the £5.9million A426 bus corridor works.

However, motorists complained about vehicles illegally using designated bus lanes to queue jump, both at the approach to Soar Valley Way and the junction with Middleton Street. 

Cars in the bus lane also risk colliding with motorists merging into the nearside lane.

Surveys carried out by Leicester City Council traffic officers showed about 10 per cent of drivers were flouting the law by using the bus lanes.

The enforcement cameras have cost about £60,000 in total to install and maintain, but are estimated to bring in about £114,000 surplus income in their first year in enforcement fines. The extra money will be re-invested in public transport and highway improvement works.