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Horsefair Street bus lane enforcement to begin

Published on Friday, January 13, 2017

ENFORCEMENT of a new bus gate in a city centre street is due to begin next week to tackle congestion caused by the number of unauthorised vehicles using it.

The bus gate has been installed on a section of Horsefair Street between its junction with Market Place Approach and Granby Street, to come into effect on Monday, January 16.

Despite the street having been designated since 1990 for use only by buses, Hackney cabs, blue badge holders and for loading access, hundreds of drivers use it every day, causing traffic congestion and creating a pinch point for key bus routes through the city centre.

The decision to install a bus gate follows a traffic survey taken in July 2015, which showed that on a single weekday more than 1,700 vehicles exited Horsefair Street onto Granby Street, of which almost 700 were not buses, cycles or Hackney carriages.

Horsefair Street will now remain out of bounds to ordinary traffic between 7.30am and 6pm, with vehicles using it outside of those hours exiting via Market Place Approach. 

Drivers who stray into the lower section of Horsefair Street will be able to exit onto Market Place Approach to avoid going through the bus gate. 

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

As part of the same scheme, the speed limit on Horsefair Street will be cut to 20mph.  

A 20mph speed limit is also bring introduced in a number of other streets, including Granby Street between Bishop Street and Halford Street; Halford Street between Granby Street and Charles Street; the entire length of Free Lane and Lower Free Lane, and the entire length of both Market Place Approach and Market Place South. 

Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “The road layout in the city centre means that this section of Horsefair Street can be a real pinch-point if unauthorised vehicles block it up.

“Unfortunately the traffic surveys we have done show exactly that - hundreds of unauthorised vehicles use this section of Horsefair Street even though its been out of bounds to normal traffic for many years, leading to delays to bus services and other vehicles who legitimately use the route.

“As we’ve seen in the other city bus lanes, camera enforcement has dramatically cut the number of unauthorised vehicles.

“Most recently bus lane camera enforcement on the A426 Lutterworth Road has cut the numbers of cars using the bus lanes by nearly three quarters.”

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

During the first two weeks of enforcement, drivers of unauthorised vehicles will be sent warning notices, rather than fines.

Fines will be issued from Monday, January 30. Motorists caught driving in the bus lane from that date will be fined £60, reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.