Bus lane with cameras coming from the road at Coxhoe in County Durham
A road in County Durham plagued with security concerns is about to see an official bus lane installed with cameras to watch for violators.
A section of Cornforth Lane in Coxhoe, near Ferryhill, is being converted to a ‘bus gate’ in an attempt to alleviate concerns around a nearby elementary school.
Durham County Council has since confirmed the date the cameras will be on as it said violators would face a fine of £ 60, reduced to £ 30 if paid within two weeks.
It comes as City Council installed a bus lane at Quarryheads Lane last year, which sparked controversy after more than 8,000 people were arrested in its first month alone.
Read more: Durham’s bus lane has come under fire after city council fined 8,000 in the first month
But explaining the decision to create the reserved bus lane in the village, the council said restrictions limiting entry to buses had been in place for several years.
Until now, residents were not allowed to enter Cornforth Lane from the roundabout on the A177, but this was not actively enforced.
Instead of a physical lane for buses, signs previously told motorists that all vehicles except buses were not allowed to use the stretch of road.
The new reserved bus lane will be located right next to the roundabout near School Avenue Photo: SARAH CALDECOTT
Dave Wafer, Head of Transport and Contractual Services at Durham County Council, said: “A restriction limiting entry to buses has been in place at Cornforth Lane for many years.
“However, we are now introducing a bus door with an approved camera to help enforce these restrictions and alleviate security concerns around the school.
“Advanced warning signs will be placed in the area starting next week before the camera activates on May 24th.
“Drivers who violate the new restrictions will be fined £ 60, but this will be reduced to £ 30 if paid within the first fourteen days.”
Contractors could be seen working on the new bus lane this week Photo: SARAH CALDECOTT
To avoid being fined once the cameras are on, motorists entering Cornforth Lane should take the A177 before turning left towards Station Road West.
As the reserved bus lane has also been installed on the same stretch of road in the opposite direction, motorists will have to rely on Sanderson Street and Station Road to exit.
But the introduction of the reserved bus lane divided opinions as some said they believed it was installed in order to generate funds.
One person who lives near the new bus lane said: “I live right next to it and I think it’s shocking.
“I hate passing cars, but I think it’s a bad idea and it’s only there to make more money for the board.”
Meanwhile, others have welcomed the new measures to prevent future accidents on the stretch of road.
One resident, who said he had witnessed incidents in the area, said: “If you lived at the bus gate a few doors down, you’ll see why that’s a good idea.
“It will be an inconvenience for the school race that I get, but during the other 22 hours of the day people are racing there, especially on weekends (where there are) a lot of motorcycles racing.” , he added.