President of AA has reservations about Portsmouth bus lane clampdown

A bus lane in London Road, Hilsea, Portsmouth
A bus lane in London Road, Hilsea, Portsmouth
  • Motorists could get £60 fine if they go into bus lane
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THE president of the AA has urged Portsmouth City Council to proceed with caution with its clampdown on drivers using bus lanes.

Edmund King told The News that drivers should not be using bus lanes to speed up their journeys.

But he said there were times when motorists had to use them, such as at confusing junctions and pulling in to let emergency vehicles through.

His comments come as a clampdown is launched on motorists who flout the law.

The council has bought two cameras as part of a contract with traffic management firm Videalert.

It will see mobile cameras go up on lampposts and keep an eye on bus routes around the city.

If drivers are caught cutting into a bus lane to avoid queues and take shortcuts they will get a £60 fine.

Mr King said: ‘What we have found, at some junctions where you turn left, it was confusing how to turn left.

‘If thousands of tickets are given out at a particular junction, then there’s a problem with the junction – either the signage or the layout.

‘We certainly have a number of reservations about the use of these cameras at these junctions.

‘We get some bus lanes that are 24 hours and yet the buses only use them for eight hours a day which is frankly ridiculous.

‘We are not opposed to the use of bus lanes if they are in the right places.

‘However with these cameras there needs to be flexibility. We have had cases of people pulling into bus lanes to let emergency vehicles get past and they have got tickets.’

He added: ‘We would stress this enforcement should not be about raising revenue. It should be about keeping the traffic flowing. We worry that some highway authorities might become dependent on revenue from bus lane enforcement.’