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Watch out for the bus lane
A CONSULTATION has been opened to give residents and drivers the chance to give their thoughts on plans to install cameras at the town’s bus gates.
There are also plans to put cameras along many of the bus lanes.
The aim of the scheme is to prevent unauthorised drivers from using them and slowing down Swindon’s public transport system.
A survey was carried out on bus gates in 2010, which showed they were misused an estimated 16,000 times per week.
The council is looking to introduce the cameras as a way of supporting the police, who lack the resources to provide round the clock enforcement.
The scheme was given approval by the council in March this year and will cost about £180,000.
Motorists who are found to be misusing the bus gates or lanes will face up to £90 in fines, with all revenue raised going towards covering costs, estimated to be around £30,000 per year, and road maintenance.
If introduced, the order being put forward would cover all of Swindon’s 22 bus gates and 15 bus lanes, although this might not cover all of them at the same time.
A spokesman for the council said: “The main reason for enforcement is to deter people from abusing the bus lanes and bus gates.
“It’s unfortunate that it’s necessary, but there is no point in having priority measures designed to make public transport more attractive if buses are delayed by cars driving where they shouldn’t.
“We won’t have cameras at every site all the time, but they will be mobile and could be used at any of the locations listed in the traffic order.
“We will also be putting up signs to warn drivers that cameras could be in operation.”
It is also hoped that by introducing the cameras, buses will move more freely and therefore become a more attractive option for people.
The digital cameras, expected to come into operation later this year, would disregard authorised vehicles.
But other motorists would receive a £60 fine, which would be halved if paid within 14 days, or increased to £90 if unpaid within 56 days.
People have until Christmas Eve to register their views on the cameras by visiting the highways section of the council website at www.swindon.gov.uk /ts/ts-roadshighways.
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