Bus lane enforcement set for review

Parking, roads and transport

14 September 2021

vehicles travelling on a motorway

Residents will be able to have their say this autumn on how bus lane rules should operate and be enforced to help keep Northampton’s public transport moving. 

West Northamptonshire Council will shortly be seeking people’s views on its Bus Lane Enforcement Scheme as part of a forthcoming review of the arrangements. 

Bus priority measures in the town include traffic lanes or sections of the street solely for use by buses, taxis or bicycles to help cut congestion and improve journey times. 

Enforcement of the bus lane rules has been in place since February last year, when the previous county council installed number-plate recognition cameras at the Weedon Road/St James’ Road bus lane and at the Drapery, a bus-only street. The bus lanes are in operation 24/7 with motorists facing a fine of up to £60 if they break the rules. 

Although proving effective in some areas for public transport, the scheme has also prompted concerns from some residents 

Councillors are now keen to review the arrangements and would like to hear people’s views ahead of their further discussions. A public consultation is due to be launched later this month when residents will be able to take part in a survey to give their feedback and suggestions for the future. Arrangements for the consultation are currently being finalised and more details will be released shortly and publicised widely by the council to encourage participation. 

Enforcement was introduced last year under the previous council to deter people from flouting the rules so that buses, taxis and cyclists could get around quicker and easier. 

 “Since our council took on these arrangements in April this year, we have become aware of significant concerns around the Weedon Road/St James camera, while The Drapery cameras appear to be doing the job effectively without controversy. It’s therefore timely that we review the cameras and ask people what they think. We will be providing more details shortly on how residents can give their views and I would encourage them to look out for these and get involved.  

“Bus lanes play a role in making public transport easier and quicker for our residents, but we need to make sure we get the balance right for everyone, whether they’re a car driver or cyclist, or a taxi or bus passenger.
Councillor Phil Larratt, Portfolio Holder for Climate, Transport, Highways and Waste at West Northamptonshire Council