05 April 2013

Bus Priority

A MOTORIST who became the first person in Plymouth to beat a bus lane fine has had his victory quashed.

The 63-year-olds appeal was initially upheld by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT) on the basis that the signs leading up to the roundabout were misleading. But the council challenged the tribunal's findings, and a review hearing found that the signage was, in fact, "good enough to have informed Mr Ayre that he should not have gone through this bus gate".  In her original ruling, adjudicator Deborah Gibson said the advanced warning sign on the Cattedown roundabout "does not give motorists adequate time to respond" to avoid the bus lane.
But her colleague Jonathan Middleton found that the signs comply with government regulations in terms of size, colour and location.
The council says it will not pursue Mr Ayre for the £60 fine, despite the fresh ruling.
A council spokeswoman said: "We are very pleased that the TPT has found in our favour regarding the signage on Embankment Road.
"The new road layout and signage were fully approved by the Department for Transport and before we started bus lane enforcement we carried out a comprehensive safety and compliance audit on all signs, which was independently verified.
"We have promoted and advertised the new enforcement cameras and their locations extensively and the overwhelming majority of motorists (more than 99.9 per cent) have both understood and complied with the measures.
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It always amazes me how angry some people get when it comes to bus priority measures like this new scheme in Cattedown. If you click on the link above and have a read of the comments you will see just how heated this issue has become despite very clear sign posts that its a bus only section.

The other story in the news which kind of hits the same issues concerns the forthcoming major roadworks on Outland Road:

MOTORISTS may face even greater delays than first feared after changes to major roadworks were announced at the 11th hour
South West Water revealed it had decided the sewer repairs would now shut the road between Peverell Park Road and the Esso filling station "both inbound and outbound to all traffic – except buses". The changes were to enable workers to renew old sewers "in the most effective and safest way possible", the company said.

The six-week scheme sees workers from South West Water (SWW) and its H5O partners dig down 15ft through hard rock to reach the aging sewer pipes. Two work gangs will operate from 8am to 8pm, starting on Monday. The firm said bus services through Outland Road would be maintained through one lane controlled by traffic lights.

which gets this response:

“Why do buses get priority, over other road users, would it not be to everyone's benefit that the road was closed completely to all traffic, work carried out 24/7 and then completed in a much shorter time scale”

“That bus has potentially taken 60 or more cars from the traffic jam you are stuck in as you try to get into the City via Mutley Plain”

“don't spout nonsense. There isn't a bus in Plymouth that replaces 60 cars. The best they do is replace a handful of cars spread out over a say 15 minute interval. Compare that to the normal number of cars on outland road and you'll notice that buses do not make the slightest bit of impact on the traffic.”

There are plenty more comments like that!

Sorry for the lack of posts recently - just not had the time to get more done! I will also try and catch up with the links to other blogs as I know how many people find these useful. My Reader list currently has almost 2000 items to go through... Graham


  1. Buses are works of the devil and PCC are it's minion helpers - a common conception in Plymouth because people are too selfish to obey the laws of the road. Look at the ferore over the 30mph speed limit in Gdynia Way.

    I cannot understand how the signs leading up to Cattedown roundabout are supposed to have been inadequate to stop people using the bus lane.
    The lane starts at Charles Cross and runs continuously up to the 'new' gate except for left turns. To get to the Embankment you are led into the right hand lane all the way from Sutton Road; if you're going to Plymstock the left hand lane takes you all the way down to the bridge. How can there be inadequate time to respond?!
    And even so there is an escape route right at the bus gate - a left hand turn that is painted on the road and sign posted along with with 3 signs and road markings that mark the bus/taxi/cycle/motorcycle lane.
    No one is forced to go down there, yet I still see many who do because they have not used their eyes to respond to the signage and road markings for the last mile.
    Then don't get started on those who do realise at the last minute and so flout the no left turn rule from Laira Bridge Road to Heles Terrace.

  2. Totally agree PG! To begin with I know a lot of it was just down to habit - you always had to go that way so its takes a bit of getting used to but the council allowed a period of time before they started enforcing the restrictions. The telling point in the story is that 99.9% of drivers get the message so its clearly not the signposting thats wrong!


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