Plans for cameras to keep motorists out of bus lanes backed by Herts County Council
- Credit: Archant
A shortlist of sites where cameras could be used to keep motorists out of bus lanes are to be drawn up by Hertfordshire County Council.
The council doesn't yet have any 'unattended enforcement cameras' on its highways network - although there are some speed cameras operated by the police in the county.
However, the council has been looking at the potential use of the cameras to crackdown on the mis-use of bus lanes and bus 'gates' across the area.
According to a report to councillors, the enforcement cameras could improve traffic flow and the reliability of bus services and would promote sustainable modes of transport.
And on Monday, February 24, the approach was backed by a meeting of the council's cabinet. Highways officers will work to identify potential sites for the cameras - as well as looking at the costs of the 'back office' technology that would be required.
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They will then bring back fully costed proposals, which will need to be approved before they are implemented.
Pointing to the importance of sustainable transport, executive member for highways and environment Councillor Phil Bibby said the county council was anxious to provide a facility to 'police' bus lanes.
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He said that if buses ran on time they would be more acceptable to users - so policing bus lanes would be a positive step.
He also pointed to legislation - that cannot yet be implemented by councils - that would allow cameras to be used to enforce weight restrictions and other 'moving traffic' offences. And he said they would be lobby for that legislation to be 'released' to widen their powers.
Meanwhile executive member for growth, infrastructure, planning and the economy Councillor Derrick Ashley said he supported the approach '100 per cent'.
'I think it's actually essential we have the tools to enforce bus lanes,' he said.
Councillor Ashley pointed to the 'substantial sum' the county council was putting into bus lane schemes and the authority's commitment to improving bus priority in the county.
He added that it was 'disappointing' that the use of camera enforcement could not be extended to other moving traffic offences.
The report to the cabinet also notes that the proposed 'clean air zone' around Cheshunt would also require the use of unattended cameras in the county.