Drivers in Flintshire look set to be fined for misusing bus lanes after the local authority revealed plans to roll out the use of enforcement cameras.
Approval was previously given for the construction of dedicated bus lanes on the B5129 between Queensferry and Shotton in a bid to slash journey times.
Work is due to start on the scheme in January 2020 and Flintshire Council has now published a report outlining which vehicles will be allowed to use the new lanes.
As well as registered bus providers, it shows cyclists, school transport vehicles and emergency services on blue light calls will all be given permission.
However, restrictions for all other drivers will be heavily enforced by the introduction of ANPR cameras along the route with all income going direct to the authority.
A senior officer said the measures would help to ease congestion and any money generated would be put back into maintenance.
In a report, Steve Jones, chief officer for streetscene and transportation, said: “The council requires specific approval from Welsh Government (WG) to enable the legal powers to enforce on the dedicated bus infrastructure, including the use of the bus lanes by non-authorised vehicles.
“The council have formally applied to WG to obtain the necessary authority to carry out such enforcement.
“Appropriate enforcement will help achieve consistent journey times for buses through congested areas and it will be supported by ANPR cameras fixed along the route.
“The cameras will ensure only registered bus services, i.e. those within the bus quality partnership, are permitted to use the infrastructure.
“All fixed penalty notice income will be credited to the council and reinvested into the maintenance on the network.”
As part of the scheme, traffic signals will be upgraded to give priority to buses and cyclists on Wepre Lane in Connah’s Quay, Church Street in Flint and the B5121 in Greenfield with indicative funding given for next year.
Additional measures have also been identified to provide bus-only access routes into Deeside Industrial Park and the Northern Gateway development site.
The council said the changes would result in a reduction of 30 minutes compared to current bus journey times for workers travelling to the business park.
Councillors will be asked to approve the proposed enforcement arrangements at an environment scrutiny committee meeting being held next week.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).