Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
Bus gate clampdown
12:30pm Friday 1st November 2013 in News
POLICE have been clamping down on drivers illegally using bus gates in North Swindon.
Over the past few weeks, officers have been patrolling the Torun Way bus gate in Haydon Wick to catch drivers who are using it as a short cut.
The gate is a traffic calming measure which only allows buses to pass. Its aim is to keep roads safe and communities quiet.
But in the space of just two weeks, police issued 41 penalty notices of £50 each to drivers illegally using the cut-through. They also spoke to a large number of drivers who were approaching the gate but stopped when they saw the police.
A spokesperson for Wiltshire Police said: “Following concerns raised by residents, the North Swindon Neighbourhood Policing Team have recently run an enforcement and education operation at the Torun Way Bus Gate.
“Drivers are reminded that the bus gate is for buses only and that this is a traffic calming measure intended to keep your community quieter and safer as a result.
“Officers will still be patrolling the bus gate on a random basis and enforcing its proper use where necessary, though in the long term we understand that Swindon Council intends to buy cameras which will be used to monitor all the bus lanes and bus gates in Swindon.”
Earlier this year, the council approved plans to introduce cameras to monitor a number of bus gates and lanes throughout the town. Around £180,000 will be spent on four cameras to make sure the gates are only used by authorised vehicles, which include buses, bikes and emergency vehicles.
The camera were suggested to ensure there is round the clock surveillance, which cannot be provided by the police.
It came after a survey revealed 610,000 motorists illegally used the gate last year.
It is estimated the fine income generated by the cameras would be £100,000 a year, of which £30,000 would cover running costs, with the surplus used for highway maintenance.
It was said that people were starting to see the bus gates as advisory rather than compulsory, leading to the roads becoming rat-runs during commuter hours, and forcing traffic on main roads to come to a stop.
Thamesdown Transport, which runs most of the town’s buses, supports the enforcement of the use of the bus gates.
Managing director Paul Jenkins said: “Bus gates are an important way of giving bus services priority over other traffic and we welcome their enforcement.
“Along with bus lanes they benefit our passengers by helping us deliver reliable and punctual bus services, even when there is congestion.”
Comments are closed on this article.