NO enforcement cameras in ANOTHER part of Northampton's new 24-hour bus lane - despite the county council advertising that there are multiple

“There are currently no plans to introduce enforcement cameras," says county councillor behind the new live 24-hour bus lane in Northampton

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 11:10 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 12:40 pm

There are ZERO enforcement cameras in the live 24-hour bus lane in Wellingborough Road, from the Ardington Road junction to the Christchurch Road junction, and there are no plans to introduce any.

Northamptonshire County Council recently advertised a traffic regulation order (TRO) in the Chronicle and Echo's public notices, making residents aware of the new 24-hour bus lane in parts of Weedon Road, St James and Wellingborough Road.

To anyone reading the public notice, it would appear there was going to be multiple cameras throughout Weedon Road, St James and the Wellingborough Road - the county council even advertised on a traffic board saying there are "cameras" in the area. That is not the case, however.

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The new 24-hour bus lane from the Ardington Road junction, in Wellingborough Road, has no enforcement cameras

This newspaper asked the county council if there was an enforcement camera in the 24-hour bus lane in Wellingborough Road, the spokesman said there was none and that only police would be able to enforce the 24-hour lane.

A police officer said last week the lanes were more so the responsibility of the county council.

This newspaper also asked the county council last week how many cameras were in operation from the bus lane in Weedon Road to where it ends, just before Northampton Railway Station, a spokesman said there was only one, which is placed right outside of the BP Garage where motorists used to drive in the bus lane to prevent congestion.

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The county council has advertised saying there are multiple cameras in operation, which is not true

Cllr Jason Smithers, from Northamptonshire County Council, who was involved in devising the new bus lane, said: “Making bus lanes for buses only helps guarantee journey times and makes bus travel a more attractive form of transport. This helps reduce congestion and pollution.

“The traffic order on Wellingborough Road for buses is restricted to two different times, one section is 24-hours a day and the other is Monday to Saturday between 7.30am and 9.30am.

“This is currently under a temporary traffic regulation order. The permanent order for this restriction was not taken forward and this restriction therefore still operates under the temporary order.

“There are currently no plans to introduce enforcement cameras, however it is possible for the police to enforce against any breaches of the traffic order in place.”

This newspaper has asked what the councillor meant by the third paragraph, which mentions the difference between a temporary traffic order and a permanent traffic order.

The Chron then asked why the Weedon Road bus lane, which is also there to encourage people to cycle, is only in one direction going into town, with no such provisions for cyclists and bus users when coming back out of town.

Cllr Jason Smithers replied saying the situation "isn't perfect".

He said: “While this situation isn’t perfect this is about expanding the provision for cyclists where we can and using the existing infrastructure. This is a small, incremental change.”

When asked about the stationary traffic, increase in congestion - which has negative effects on the environment and is the opposite of what the county council is aiming for-, and Chron readers' complaints, Cllr Jason Smithers said the local authority will "continue to monitor" the situation.

He said: “Like with any new Highways scheme there is always a period of time for the project to be evaluated to see how well it is working. We will continue to monitor the enforcement schemes across the county.”

However, it is not known where Cllr Smithers will be based come April 1 when the councils become a unitary authority. And it is not known who or which department will take over the monitoring.

Cllr Smithers represents the Higham Ferrers ward, which is 20 miles and 25 minutes away from the new bus lane.

If caught in the new bus lane, motorists could face a fine of up to £60, or £30 if paid within 14 days - click here to see how to appeal a fine.