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Controversial bus lane to return to Preston

Credit: ITV Granada

A controversial bus lane that caught out 23 thousand drivers in Preston City Centre is set to return.

Lancashire County Council collected almost one-and-a-half million pounds in fines from motorists who drove down the prohibited route.

But the authority was forced to refund the cash after an investigation found warning signs were inadequate.

Now the bus lane is on its way back.

Ralph Blunsom's has this report:


Drivers pay out £1.3m in bus lane fines in two months

A row has broken out over a bus lane and whether it's helping to beat congestion or simply a way of raising money.

It comes after more than 23,000 drivers were caught out in the Fishergate bus lane in Preston in just two months.

The fines totalled around £1.3 million - that's an average of £20,000 a day.

  • Watch Amy Welch's report:

Liverpool council extends bus lane test

The Number 86 bus in south Liverpool.

Liverpool Council has confirmed its trial suspension of Liverpool’s bus lanes will be extended for four months.

All of the city’s 26 bus lanes are currently suspended to evaluate the impact on traffic movements.

The original nine-month trial was due to finish on 28 July but has now been extended until 28 November.

The council cabinet heard that data sharing arrangements with stakeholders including Merseytravel and bus companies has been complex and taken longer to complete than at first envisaged.

This meant that the independent review analysing the data will need more time.

The trial has also taken place when there was a large number of roadworks in the city affecting bus lanes, including Network Rail works on Picton Road which lasted for three months and meant temporary traffic lights were in place.

Bus lanes are free for all traffic in Liverpool during the tests.

"We want a full and accurate picture of the effect of the suspension is having on traffic with robust data which can be properly analysed.

“It is important that we make the right decision on this issue even though that means taking a bit more time than we first thought. It is necessary to gather the data needed for us to get the full picture of what is happening on our roads and see what works and what doesn’t.

“We do not want to have the review distorted because there were an excessive number of roadworks during the trial. We need to see what , if anything, has been affecting traffic – the roadworks, the suspension of the bus lanes or any other factor.

“It has been claimed that this extension will mean a loss of income to the council because we will not be imposing fines. But I regard it as immoral to see the bus lanes as just being a cash cow for the council. And we cannot base our budgeting on something which may happen – we have to deal with the here and now.”

– Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool.

Stagecoach: 'Focus should be on bus priority measures'

The first of 24 Liverpool bus lanes is removed by workmen Credit: Andy Bonner

Bus lanes in Liverpool will be scrapped from today as part of a trial to reduce congestion.

Twenty-four lanes will be suspended for the next nine months.

Bus company Stagecoach believe the focus should be on creating more bus priority measures.

A Stagecoach spokesperson said: "Bus priority measures are vital in helping bus operators run more punctual and reliable services for our customers, and they are crucial to attracting more people out of their cars and on to bus travel."

"We believe the focus for Liverpool should be on more bus priority measures to help drive increased use of public transport - that is the most effective way to reduce pollution and congestion in the city."


Commuters allowed to use Liverpool bus lanes

Commuters will be allowed to use Liverpool's bus lanes in a trial that begins today. The locations are:

  • Lime St inbound
  • Kensington inbound
  • Warbreck Moor inbound
  • Horrocks Avenue
  • Strand St inbound
  • Kensington outbound
  • Longmoor Lane inbound
  • Speke Hall Avenue
  • Strand St outbound
  • Prescot Rd inbound
  • Wavertree Rd outbound
  • Upper Parliament St inbound
  • Chapel St inbound
  • East Prescot Rd inbound
  • Picton Rd outbound (with bus gate)
  • Park Rd inbound
  • London Rd (bus only right turn) outbound
  • County Rd inbound
  • Wavertree High Street inbound
  • Irvine St, Mount Vernon inbound
  • Brownlow Hill outbound
  • Rice Lane outbound / Childwall Valley Rd inbound
  • Old Hayment
  • St Johns lane - in and outbound

Liverpool scrap bus lanes in 9 month trial

Bus lanes scrapped Credit: PA

Council bosses in Liverpool will begin a trial today to allow commuters to use the cities bus lanes.

All bus lane cameras will be immobilised and work will begin to removed signage.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said:

"I have asked for this trial suspension so that we can explore what benefits, if any, bus lanes are bringing to our city. Keeping the city moving for our motorists, businesses, residents, commuters and visitors is absolutely vital, so it's important we take a proper look at this.

Some people have suggested to me that we shouldn't do this because the bus lanes generate income of £700,000-a-year for the council. But in my view it would be immoral to treat motorists as a cash cow.'"

The Green Party opposes the move on the basis is it discourages people to use public transport.