Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Bus Lane Scrapped After 5,600 Motorists Fined

Fining motorists for illegally using bus lanes when they shouldn't clearly doesn't work, if the evidence of Stoke-on-Trent City Council is anything to go by.

Despite issuing a blizzard of £60 fines to errant motorists, the 20-metre bus lane in Huntbach Street in Hanley continues to be used as a shortcut to car parks on a regular basis.

Did I say blizzard? Let me be more precise – 5,600 tickets have so far been handed out to people, more than half of which have been issued since April 1.

What it lacks in stature – it's little more than 60 feet long - it clearly makes up for in sheer desirability. Using it gives prompt though illegal access to nearby car parks. Stay on the right side of the law, however, and you are rewarded with an epic 1.3-mile detour. You can see why some of the 5,600 motorists caught breaking the law were prepared to take the risk.

Now, it seems, everyone has become fed up with it all.

"We are currently consulting with the public on plans to amend bus routes in the city centre in preparation for the opening of the new bus station in the autumn,” explained Councillor Adrian Knapper, the city council's cabinet member for transport and planning.

"It is proposed that the amended bus routes will no longer be using Town Road, and as a consequence, will not be accessing Huntbach Street,” he told local reporters.

"With this in mind, it is proposed to remove the existing bus lane and open the street to all traffic.”

A blessed relief, then – and at least the town is getting a new bus station. But as ever it's not all good news for the motorist.

As part of the council's proposals, some roads will now be pedestrianised while others will become one-way, still more will remain one-way but have their direction reversed, and yet more roads will become two-way.

Now, some hapless motorist is bound to get that wrong.

Makes you wonder why they don't just all go by bus...

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