Bus lane enforcement – statement

By on 06/03/2014 in News

The Council hadn't quite got it right in terms of bus lane enforcement in the city centre. We should have paid more attention to the people of Birmingham; the media coverage the scheme was attracting; and the feedback from our own scrutiny committee before Christmas.

We accept the decision of the adjudicator that although the signage is lawful at three sites it is inadequate and, in hindsight, we should have reviewed the scheme much earlier than we did.

Enforcement on the three sites where signage has been deemed inadequate will not be enforced until it has been improved to the satisfaction of Cllr Tahir Ali, as the Cabinet Member.

Each of the 18,000 cases currently going through the system at those locations will be reviewed and in fact where people have made representation but have paid their fine, we will also look again at their situation.

It was made clear that the enforcement of bus lanes had always been about improving bus journey time and reliability - for  the millions of people who use them each week -  through the city centre, and that there had been significant improvements in public transport as a result.

We must not lose sight of our original intention of bus lane enforcement.  A total of 2.25 million passengers benefit from bus lanes and enforcement on Moor Street Queensway and Priory Queensway every week, as they come into or pass through the city, with more people travelling into the city centre by bus than any other mode of transport. Bus lanes are vital and the vast majority of these city centre bus lanes are not new; it is the enforcement that is new.

Delays at city centre bus stops have been reduced by 16 per cent since the introduction of bus lanes and subsequent enforcement, while journey times in the afternoon peak have improved by 2-3 minutes northbound and 4 minutes southbound every day. There are also early indications that there has been a change in motorists’ behaviour since we began enforcing the restrictions which will result in a further improvement.

We have already erected additional signs at the top of Steelhouse Lane and camera signs at Priory Queensway, and will be putting up further signs at St Martin's Queensway and outside Moor Street station. We will not be enforcing at these locations until the signage is made adequate.

We have reviewed the position on the issue of multi - Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) and have concluded, applying our discretion,  that only one ticket will be issued on the same journey at the same time or within minutes of each other.

The payment of fines for bus lane enforcement is covered under Section 144 of the Transport Act 2000 (Civil Penalties for Bus Lane Contraventions).  This means that if you make representation and are unsuccessful you lose the opportunity to pay half of the fine. 

We’re pleased the adjudicator rejected entirely the suggestion that this was about increasing revenue; this was never the case, it has always been about improving transport for everyone.

To this end we will roll out bus lane enforcement beyond the city centre, but will give plenty of notice and publicity about where and when this will be happening and we will review signage on all our bus lanes to ensure they are adequate.

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  1. Hoqward Drury says:

    Improve the bus stops It was me that spotted someone literally took the EU regulations and forgot we drive on the right and put up bus shelters facing the wrong way” this impedes customer flows on and off the bus – slowing down loading times drastically.

    Secondly our coaches and buses do NOT comply with EU regulations stating separate entry exits for public vehicles capable of carrying more than 70 passengers seated or standing.

    Thirdly do like they do in Dublin, purchase tickets prior to boarding and exit only allowed on separate exit if you have fully paid for your journey so simple so effective and finally solve the problem of Kings Heath High Street! it will half the 50 bus times!

    Willing to meet and discuss these issues with you anytime!

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