Motorists living in a Nottinghamshire housing estate have rejected the county council’s proposal to exempt them from a bus gate restriction if they purchase a permit.
The camera-enforced bus gate in Nuthall currently operates only between 1700 and 1800 Mondays to Fridays. It provides westbound buses with direct access to the A610 Nuthall roundabout from a junction at the edge of the Horsendale residential estate. All other vehicles leaving the estate during this time have to take a longer route and join the rear of a queue of traffic on the A610.
Nottinghamshire proposed making the bus gate operate 24 hours a day but exempting residents of the Horsendale estate from the restriction if they purchased a permit, likely to cost £25 a year (LTT 13 Sep 19). The exemption could have applied to about 1,500 vehicles.
The council sent 974 questionnaires out to addresses eligible for a permit. Of the 566 responses, only 21 per cent supported the scheme.
The council was unclear whether its proposal was legal. The law on traffic regulation prescribes that any exemptions enabling vehicles other than buses to use a bus lane (or gate) requires the vehicles to be “defined or described by reference to any characteristic of the vehicles or traffic or to any other circumstances whatsoever”.
Nottinghamshire’s legal advice suggested the definition could be extended to include activities such as loading and unloading but there was a risk that “it may not be able to be extended to the address at which a vehicle is registered”.
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