Corporation Street bus gate to start but motorists will receive ‘warning letter’

Posted on - 7th May, 2024 - 12:36pm | Author - | Posted in - Politics, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Roads, Transport
Signs have gone up down Corporation Street Pic: John Gillmore/Blog Preston

Corporation Street bus gate cameras are due to be switched on during May – but drivers will get a ‘grace period’.

The new bus-only section of the key road between the city centre and university campus is being enforced from Tuesday (21 May).

Signs have gone up warning motorists the bus-gate – running from Marsh Lane to Heatley Street – is to see the cameras turned on.

Corporation Street signage going up near the bus gate Pic: Blog Preston
Corporation Street signage going up near the bus gate Pic: Blog Preston

Read more: Mapped: How new Corporation Street and Friargate road layout is due to work

However, Lancashire County Council has said anyone using the bus-gate in Corporation Street will receive a warning letter at first rather than a penalty charge notice. No date has been given for how long the grace period will last.

The bus gate will be operational 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week and is only to be used by buses, Hackney carriage taxis and cyclists. Private-hire taxis can’t use the bus-gate.

Where is the bus gate?

The red stretch of road is where the new bus gate will be Pic: LCC

The county council said the one-way street on Marsh Lane between Corporation Street and Friargate will be changed to provide a route for drivers who find themselves at the bus gate and can’t use it, taking people back towards the university.

What will the fines be?

Once fully operational motorists will be issued with a £70 penalty charge notice.

If payment is made within 21-days of the notice being issued the charge is reduced to £35.

If payment is made after a service of charge certificate, the charge increases to £105.

Appeals after receiving a penalty notice can be made via the Lancashire County Council website.

Read more: Almost 6,000 fewer bus lanes fines handed out in Preston in last 12 months

What do the county council say?

County Councillor Rupert Swarbrick, cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “We know this part of Corporation Street can be a traffic hotspot with queuing traffic at busier times. Our aim is to reduce the number of vehicles coming through this area, when there are other suitable alternative routes for them.

“People will still be able to travel by car if they wish to, but it will involve a slightly different route. By reducing congestion on Corporation Street, we can increase the reliability for public transport and encourage more people to think about catching the bus.

“We don’t want to issue any fines so please be aware of the changes on these roads and follow the correct route using the clearly displayed signs.”

How we got here

A consultation on the bus gate being introduced originally ran back in 2021 – with a number of local businesses raising concerns about the proposals.

In February Blog Preston updated on the bus gate signage starting to appear and in April the bus gate cameras went up – with the county council not confirming when they would start issuing fines.

On Friday 3 May, information was circulated to university staff and students saying the bus gate fines would be issued from Tuesday (7 May) but the county council said this was not the case.

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