Future of controversial bus lane and 'cash cow' camera in Northampton set to be decided after thousands vote against it

More than half-a-million pounds in fines have been dished out since February

Monday, 29th November 2021, 5:07 pm
Updated Monday, 29th November 2021, 5:08 pm

The future of a controversial bus lane and its camera in Northampton could be decided next week after nearly 1,800 people voted for it to change back to its previous operating hours.

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) revealed on Monday (November 29) that the Weedon Road/St James' Road bus lane could be reverted back to its previous operating hours of 7.30am to 9.30am, and the enforcement camera outside of Westbridge Garage could be moved to a new location - this will all be discussed at the next cabinet meeting on Tuesday, December 7.

This comes after nearly 3,000 residents took part in an online consultation by the council which asked for the public's views on what should happen to the 24/7 bus lane and its camera,

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The bus lane and camera in St James' Road could revert back to its previous operating hours of 7.30am to 9.30am

Councillor Phil Larratt, who is in charge of the bus lane at WNC, said: “Public response to our bus lane consultation was both significant and encouraging and I would like to thank everyone who took the time to give their views, which proved to be really valuable in reviewing the arrangements.

“Bus lanes play a role in making public transport easier and quicker for our residents and the proposals being put forward to cabinet reflect the feedback we’ve received that changes are required to the current scheme so that we ensure we get the balance right for everyone.”

The bus lane's camera has been called a 'cash cow' and a 'scam' by many as it is positioned right outside Westbridge Garage, which is where motorists have used the lane for decades to avoid the traffic turning right into the petrol station.

The last time the Chronicle & Echo asked how much WNC had received from bus lane fines since the camera went live in February, the figure stood at more than half-a-million pounds.A WNC spokesman added: "The feedback received showed that half of all respondents were in favour of the Weedon Road/St James’ Road bus lane continuing to be enforced to some degree, but nearly two-thirds of those thought it should be limited to morning peak times.

"At the meeting next Tuesday, members will also consider extending the use of the lanes from buses, cycles and taxis to also include private hire cabs and licensed public scooters."

If the proposals are approved, the changes would come into effect during the week after the meeting.

The cabinet meeting takes place at 6pm next Tuesday at The Forum in Towcester and will be broadcast live on the council’s YouTube channel.

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