04 February 2021

Motorists are being warned that fines will soon be issued for those illegally using bus lanes in some parts of the county

Northamptonshire County Council will use number-plate recognition cameras to discourage illicit use of the lanes, with fines being issued to offenders.

Currently warning notices are being issued to those who flout the rules to act as a warning and this will continue up to when fines will be issued, from February 15.

The measures will be introduced at three sites in Northamptonshire:

  • Drapery, Northampton town centre
  • Weedon Road / St James' Road, Northampton
  • The bus gate linking Church Street to Cambridge Street in Wellingborough town centre 

The warning notices have been given out from the start of this month. In that time some consistent 'offences' have been noted and so we would remind motorists that:

  • St James Road, Northampton – heading towards the town centre - motorists are prohibited from using the bus lane even when undertaking stationary traffic waiting to turn right.
  • Private hire vehicles are prohibited from using the bus lanes (with the exception of Drapery, Northampton). Taxis (hackney carriages) are allowed to use bus lanes.
  • Drapery, Northampton – vehicles seeking access to the Market Square can only legally do so from the north, via Sheep Street.

Freeing up the bus lanes makes bus journey times more reliable and therefore a more attractive mode of transport.

As cyclists are also allowed to use the bus lanes it also encourages people to make cycle journeys along the routes with the lanes being relatively safe with lighter traffic.

Cllr Jason Smithers, county council cabinet member for transport, highways and environment, said:

 

This scheme is all about improving journey times and encouraging alternative transport to the motor car.

"As such we think it's only fair that people have sufficient warning that we are implementing these measures and to ensure that people have sufficient time to receive the warning notices.

"There have also been some areas where there are regular contraventions so we wanted to highlight these just to ensure that everyone was warned."