Motorists illegally using bus lanes in Colchester could face fines if caught by new cameras

This bus gate in Nayland Road, Colchester, is not being enforced. Picture: WILL LODGE

This bus gate in Nayland Road, Colchester, is not being enforced. Picture: WILL LODGE - Credit: Archant

Drivers caught illegally using bus lanes and bus gates in Colchester may be fined in future as council bosses pledge to get tougher on motorists breaking the rules.

Highways chiefs at Essex County Council are installing three new cameras at bus gates on Hythe Hill, North Station Road and at Hythe Station next month.

Bus gates are stretches of road that are only open to buses, black cabs and pedal cycles.

For a limited time only warning letters will be sent to drivers using the bus gates illegally - givign them a chance to adjust their driving behaviour.

By the end of the year, penalty charge notices will be issued to all offenders.

Those who breach the regulations can expect to be fined £60 - this amount would be halved to £30 if paid within 14 days.

Highways cabinet member Ian Grundy said: “Bus gates and bus lanes are already enforceable by Essex Police, however, we have decided to install cameras at these sites due to the high number of people who continue to use them illegally.

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“It is important they remain free to help buses run on time and reduce congestion.

“Any fines we receive from penalty charge notices are reinvested to help improve Essex’s road and transport network.

He added: “We will continue to explore the option of using camera enforcement at other key locations in Essex.”

Drivers are urged to check signs and restrictions when approaching bus lanes and bus gates as they can differ depending on location.

No new restrictions are being put in place at Hythe Hill, North Station Road or Hythe Station.

They allow buses, motorbikes, cyclists, Hackney Carriage Taxis and private hire vehicles to use the route.

Emergency vehicles and winter gritting lorries are also allowed to use the bus gates.

• What do you think of the plans? Send your views to newsroom@archant.co.uk

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