Cameras are being brought in to monitor a temporary bus gate at the junction of Milsom Street and George Street in Bath – and enforced by the issuing of fines – to make sure the zone is safe for pedestrians and cyclists.
The bus lane restriction which came into force on July 6 allows only buses to travel along the one-way Milsom Street up to the junction with Quiet Street between 10am and 6pm, providing more space for people to keep their distance and enjoy the health and environmental benefits of a traffic-free zone.
Until now, Bath & North East Somerset Council wardens have been on site to monitor the temporary restriction and barrier to prevent access, but automatic number plate recognition cameras (ANPR) have now been installed in line with the other bus gates in the city and will be switched on at the beginning of October when the barriers are removed.
Anyone in contravention of the restriction will receive an automatic Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) of £60 (reduced to £30 if paid in the first 14 days) which will also contain details of how they can appeal if they believe the PCN has been incorrectly issued. The order can be viewed here
All vehicles are also prohibited from parking, loading and waiting except for in the authorised and designated loading bays between the hours of 6pm and 10am.
The temporary measure is part of the council’s response to the government directive to create more space for pedestrians and cyclists in busy locations and encourage active travel.
Councillor Joanna Wright, joint cabinet member for transport services, said: “Milsom Street is a busy and well-used route for motorists and although the temporary restriction came into force in July, we chose not to carry out enforcement until now while people adjusted to not using the route. However, we must now make sure that people can safely enjoy the benefits of walking and cycling and are able to social distance more easily without having to dedicate a full-time warden to monitor this.
“Signs will be put up at the junction and on the route leading up to it to warn drivers about the cameras, so please make sure you continue to use an alternative route.”
The council has put in place temporary traffic restrictions in other parts of Bath and in Keynsham to protect public health, make walking and cycling safer and encourage active travel.
Residents have also been asked to put forward locations for longer-term improvements designed to reduce the use of vehicles on our roads. Views can shared on the Liveable Neighbourhoods website https://bathnesliveablestreets.commonplace.is