Council reveals operating times for a controversial 24/7 bus lane in Northampton will finally change in the next month

The council pocketed close to £1 million from motorists driving in the 24/7 bus lane
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The council has revealed that the controversial 24/7 bus lane in Northampton is set to reopen to motorists in the next month following months of work to change the law.

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) abolished the 24/7 bus lane in Weedon Road and St James' Road at a cabinet meeting on December 7.

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This decision was made after 10 months of controversy, which saw the council pocket close to £1 million in fines from motorists driving in the lane.

The 24/7 bus lane in Weedon Road and St James' Road is set to revert to its previous operating times between 7.30am and 9.30am everyday. The enforcement camera has been switched off since December 14.The 24/7 bus lane in Weedon Road and St James' Road is set to revert to its previous operating times between 7.30am and 9.30am everyday. The enforcement camera has been switched off since December 14.
The 24/7 bus lane in Weedon Road and St James' Road is set to revert to its previous operating times between 7.30am and 9.30am everyday. The enforcement camera has been switched off since December 14.

At the cabinet meeting, councillor Phil Larratt, who is in charge of the scheme, said the positioning of the enforcement camera opposite Westbridge Garage "set motorists up to fail".

The camera was switched off on December 14, but the rules still remain until the traffic regulation order (TRO) is updated to revert the bus lane times to 7.30am to 9.30am everyday.

The council said it would need eight weeks to change the TRO, which would legally change the operating times.

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However, it has been 12 weeks and the rules have not yet changed. This newspaper has regularly been contacting the council for an update and received one this week.

A WNC spokeswoman said plans are "progressing", with a statutory consultation recently ending, which would allow members of the public to object to the planned changes.

The spokeswoman said: "To change the operational times the council must amend the TRO, a process that can take a number of weeks. The proposed TRO amendments were recently advertised to seek any public views on the changes.

"No objections have been received in the latest consultation, so some further legal and technical steps will now be required to complete the TRO amendment process, with the bus lane times anticipated to change within the first two weeks of April - the exact date is still to be confirmed and will be publicised widely when the process is complete."