Corporation Street bus gate ‘grace period’ saw 8,523 warning letters issued

Posted on - 2nd July, 2024 - 6:00am | Author - | Posted in - Politics, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Roads, Transport

More than 200 motorists-a-day were being caught driving through the new Corporation Street bus gate.

Lancashire County Council confirmed to Blog Preston the number of warning notices issued since the cameras were activated on the bus-only stretch of road.

Penalty charge notices were triggered on Tuesday 25 June and now a week on Blog Preston can reveal a total of 8,523 warning letters were sent to the owners of vehicles seen driving in the bus gate.

The county council said they ran the ‘grace period’ for drivers to get used to the new road set up between the Marsh Lane junction and Heatley Street crossroads.

Read more: All the side street changes in and around Corporation Street bus gate

But on 25 June the penalty charge notices began being issued and anyone driving in the bus gate – except for buses, Hackney Carriage taxis and cyclists – faces a £70 charge notice, which drops to £35 if paid within 14 days.

A spokesman for the county council said: “The number of people still using the bus gate has dropped significantly since it was first introduced back in May.

“Penalty Charge Notices are now being issued to anyone who goes down there when they shouldn’t. We don’t want anyone to get a ticket as it means people are doing the right thing.

“The bus gate has been designed to reduce traffic in this area, make bus journeys faster and more reliable, and make walking and cycling more appealing options. Congestion and queuing traffic increases air pollution and makes walking and cycling less attractive.

“Our aim is to reduce the number of vehicles coming through this area, when there are other suitable alternative routes for them.”

Read more: Corporation Street bus gate branded ‘absolute farce’ and ‘should be reversed’

The initial weeks of the bus gate saw nearby businesses left fuming due to confusing messages to motorists and customers – with giant screens brought in to warn motorists about the change in road rules and traffic marshals deployed to direct drivers.

New bus gate on Corporation Street. Pic: Blog Preston
New bus gate on Corporation Street. Pic: Blog Preston

And the congestion from the traffic light syncing and bus gate led in the early days of the bus gate the city’s bus network – Preston Bus – saying they were having to divert buses via a different route due to congestion in Corporation Street.

The new bus gate – first consulted on back in 2020 – comes as figures released in May showed the amount made from bus-lane fines in Preston was falling.

Read more: Corporation Street bus gate and Preston bus lanes – all you need to know

If the warning notices issued had resulted in penalty charge notices it could have potentially netted County Hall £596,610 in revenue – but no penalty charge notices were issued during the grace period.

Further bus-only areas of the city are currently being worked on, with a bus lane planned for New Hall Lane despite vocal opposition from city councillors and nearby residents – and last week the county council confirmed they were exploring the idea of a stretch of bus lane in Ribbleton Avenue or Ribbleton Lane.

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