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2918Bus Lanes

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  • Ronald Dawson
    Mar 31, 2001
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      From http://www.thisislondon.com/dynamic/news/story.html?in_review_id=375006
      Dawson
      NEWS & CITY
      Bus lane drivers face 700 more cameras
      by David Williams, Motoring Editor

      Lawbreaking drivers are to be forced out of London's vital bus lanes under a
      tough new enforcement policy spearheaded by a network of 700 extra cameras.

      The number of officials scrutinising CCTV screens and issuing fines will
      also rise from 10 to 73, under plans revealed by Mayor Ken Livingstone.

      He is determined to drive motorists from the capital's 700 bus lanes to
      speed bus journeys and relieve pressure on the Tube.

      Mr Livingstone wants to smash a pattern of abuse that, according to new
      figures, costs London's business £10billion a year. The Mayor unveiled his
      plans after it was revealed that 16,000 vehicles each week are now driven or
      parked in bus lanes - with only five per cent of owners caught and fined.

      Mr Livingstone said that under the new campaign, which begins next Monday,
      detection of offenders would rise by 600 per cent. Route monitoring - by
      both traffic wardens and the barrage of new cameras - will rise by 333 per
      cent. By early next year the number of bus-mounted cameras will rise from
      500 to 900 at a cost of £12 million. The number of roadside cameras will
      rise from 200 to 500 right across London, at a cost of £3 million.

      Traffic wardens reporting to the police, and parking attendants employed by
      local authorities, will form a joint force for the first time. They will
      work in special squads, riding buses to catch drivers who flout the rules.
      The campaign is backed by the Mayor's Transport for London, the police and
      London Buses.

      Under the plans the maximum fine for bus lane offenders will rise from £30
      to £80 - as predicted by the Standard earlier this year. Mr Livingstone
      expects the number of drivers dealt with under the new campaign to soar from
      25,000 to 100,000. The Mayor has committed all cash raised to investment in
      transport projects.

      Today Transport for London street management managing director Derek Turner
      outlined what he called a "get tough" era. He said: "In stopping drivers
      from illegally using bus lanes our aim is simple - if they believe they can
      get away with this then they'd better think again. With detection methods
      being radically increased and fines up from £30 to £80, our clear intention
      is to instill compliance into drivers. If this fails, then we will
      prosecute."

      He said the aim was not to boost the Mayor's coffers and denied estimates
      that the scheme could raise up to £300 million a year. He said the cost of
      setting up the campaign was substantial.

      "Ironically, the more successful we are in deterring drivers from misusing
      bus routes the less revenue we receive," said Mr Turner. "Our fundamental
      aim is to get compliance from drivers so that the reliability of bus
      services improve and more Londoners use them as a regular means of
      travelling in the capital."

      For bus operators, misuse of a bus lane can turn a 15-minute trip through
      central London into one lasting 45 minutes. TfL estimates this form of
      congestion alone costs London's business around £10 billion a year.

      © Associated Newspapers Ltd., 27 March 2001
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