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Fines to begin at Horsefair Street bus gate

Published on Sunday, January 1, 2017

DRIVERS who go through a new bus gate in the city centre will be fined from today (Monday, January 30).

The bus gate has been installed on a section of Horsefair Street between its junction with Market Place Approach and Granby Street.

The aim is to tackle congestion caused by the number of unauthorised vehicles using the route, which create a pinch point for bus routes through the city centre.

Unauthorised motorists driving through the bus gate will be fined £60, reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.

For many years, the length of Horsefair Street from Bowling Green Street to Market Place Approach has been out of bounds to ordinary traffic between 7.30am and 6pm, with only buses, Hackney carriages, blue badge holders, bicycles and loading vehicles permitted to use it.

The new bus gate itself is in force 24 hours a day, meaning traffic using Horsefair Street must exit via Market Place Approach to avoid going through the bus gate.

Only buses and Hackney carriages are allowed through the bus gate.

The enforcement follows a two-week warning period in which warning notices were sent out to drivers of unauthorised vehicles using the bus gate.

In total, almost 2,500 warnings were issued in the first 11 days alone.

Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “For the last two weeks there have been huge illuminated signs warning motorists that the bus gate is being enforced and diverting them onto an alternative route.

“At the very start of the warning period we were issuing more than 300 warning notices every day, but for the last week the figures have consistently been below 200 a day, so the message is finally getting through.

“It is vital for buses using this route that it is not congested with other unauthorised traffic, and we’ve seen from other parts of the city that enforcing bus gates and bus lanes is a very effective way of ensuring they remain free of other traffic.”

A traffic survey taken in July 2015 by Leicester City Council showed that on a single weekday about 1,000 unauthorised vehicles exited Horsefair Street onto Granby Street.

It is hoped that removing unauthorised vehicles from the section of Horsefair Street will cut the traffic by about 38 percent.

The bus gate is costing about £35,000, including all set up fees, installation, signs and 12 months of maintenance and support.