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Drivers warned to stay off Torun Way bus gate
POLICE have warned motorists who flout the rules of a controversial bus gate on a residential road that they can expect to face fines if they continue.
Yesterday between 3.45pm and 4.30pm officers stopped 33 cars driving through the bus gate at Torun Way south.
The bus gate, which runs from the junction at Casterbridge Road to the junction at White Eagle Road, was put in by Swindon Council last week and means the route cannot be used by motorists as a short cut from Haydon Wick into Haydon End.
Officers advised drivers to find alternative routes and warned in the future they will have no option but to issue £30 fixed penalty tickets to people who continue to drive cars and vans through it.
PC Matt Lewis, the community beat manager for Haydon Wick, said: “I know it is not a popular choice with some residents but it is now an enforceable bus route and it is not for police to pick and choose what we enforce.
“We have been asked by councillors to enforce the legislation. We ran an operation on Tuesday during one of the peak times, the school run, and stopped 33 cars going through the bus gate.
“We informed them that it was now enforceable and handed them a copy of the public notice produced by Swindon Council.
“At this stage we are looking at a period of getting the information out to the community before we start enforcement. I would urge anybody who lives in the area to tell their friends, family and neighbours not to use it.”
Ward councillor Emma Faramarzi (Con, Priory Vale) said opinion on the bus gate was divided and she believed a large number of drivers had flouted the rules.
She said: “The police were out there for just a small amount of time and it goes on all day. “We did a consultation and those on the south side wanted the gate and those on the north side did not.
“We took a decision among ward councillors, council officers and the cabinet member for transport that it should be implemented and it was always in the plan for the area.”
North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson said: “When Haydon End was given planning permission it was a condition imposed to protect existing residents adjacent to Westfield Way.
“This is often what happens with new developments, existing residents will lobby to limit the impact on them – the same will apply for Tadpole Lane.
“As it was in the original planning permission, scrapping it would open up legal challenges by existing residents and those who bought the house expecting a bus gate.”
One of those who bought their home expecting the gate was Roy Davidson, 42, of Torun Way.
He said: “We moved here because there was going to be a bus gate and we had kids, so we did not want it to be busy with traffic. I would back the police in enforcing it.”
Mother-of-two Hannah Strange, 27, of Polonez Court, said it was an inconvenience but she saw why it was needed.
“It is annoying because it means I get caught on the traffic lights on Thamesdown Drive and have to go a longer way to get to college, but it did get used by people who don’t live locally so I can understand why it is there,” she said.