Councillor left confused over future of controversial bus lane in Northampton

The councillor asked at a full council meeting when the bus lane camera in Northampton will be turned off, she received a response but that same response is missing from a full council meeting video tape which was uploaded to the internet

Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 5:31 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 5:32 pm
The bus lane in St James' Road

A video of a full council meeting is reportedly missing a section where officials discuss the future of the controversial bus lane in Northampton.

Councillor Julie Davenport asked at a full West Northamptonshire Council meeting on Thursday (September 23) if the 24/7 bus lane camera opposite Westbridge Garage could be switched off after months of controversy surrounding it.

Councillor Phil Larratt, in charge of the bus lane and camera for the council, responded to councillor Davenport at the meeting but his reply is missing from the video, which is uploaded to the internet by the council for the general public to watch afterwards.

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When asked if the council had edited the video, a spokesman said they had not and instead blamed live streaming for the technical glitch.

Councillor Larratt has previously said there will be a public consultation period to decide the future of the bus lane.

But he has also said that he has requested to his officers that the bus lane and camera to revert back to its previous operating hours between 7am and 9am Monday to Saturday.

This newspaper asked the council what councillor Larratt's response was to councillor Davenport at the meeting to set the record straight.

A council spokesman said: “We are currently reviewing the bus lane operation and enforcement at St James and Westbridge. We are in the process of gathering all of the relevant information so cabinet can make an informed decision on what changes they wish to make in relation to the bus lane and its enforcement.”

However, when this response was passed on to councillor Davenport to see if it was correct, she said this is not what councillor Larratt said and that she is still confused on the issue.

Councillor Davenport said: "It's not quite what he said to me. He told me he wanted to revert it back to the hours it was previously but that it had to go through 'due process'.

"So I have asked him what is this due process and how long will that take.

"I'm confused and a little bit annoyed because I told people after the meeting that the council was going to revert it back. But when I watched the full council meeting video back I couldn't find the footage.

"I was absolutely sure from what he said that the council was going to revert it back.

"He said they want to revert it back [to its previous operating times] because of the strength of public feeling."

Councillor Davenport has received no response regarding what councillor Larratt means when he says 'due process'.

To watch the full council meeting, click here. Councillor Daveport asks the question at around 1hour18minutes.