Two sections of road designated as bus lanes at the existing Queensway Bus Terminus at Commercial Way/Queensway Commercial Centre in Worle and the new Bus Interchange at Locking Road in Weston will be enforced using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera systems from Monday 23 May.
The two sites require the control of unauthorised vehicles in order to operate safely and free from congestion. These areas generally experience high pedestrian movements and unlawful use of the infrastructure has had a detrimental effect on public transport operators journey times and service provisions at key times.
Enforcement of bus lane infrastructure is anticipated to have the following additional benefits:
- More free-flowing public transport due to fewer illegally parked or queuing vehicles
- Reduced journey times for public transport encouraging more people to use services
- Safer roads with less accidents
- Improved highway management
- Consistency of approach with neighbouring authorities.
Cllr Steve Hogg, North Somerset Council's executive member with responsibility for transport and highways said: "Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera systems offer an unattended and efficient way of monitoring any abuse on our road network.
Following initial installation, ANPR systems have low running/maintenance costs with a back-office system that becomes active and generates a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) only when a breach is identified. We would urge drivers to respect our bus lanes and not abuse them. Otherwise you will be facing a fine."
A PCN is £60 or £30 if paid within 14 days. From 31 May 2022 bus lane PCN’s will be £70 or £35 if paid within 21 days, due to central Government changes. From Monday 6 June, the revenue collected from the breaches of the traffic order will cover the costs associated with running the system and any surplus will be made available to road and transport improvements.
If the enforcement process works well, the system may be rolled out to other locations.
The scheme will operate under a short warning notice period for first time offenders only, whilst the new regulations come into effect.
The works will cost around £177,000 and is being carried out by Yunex (Part of Siemens), Centregreat and Milestone Infrastructure Services.
Note: this news story was updated on 26 August 2022