Drivers’ concern over ‘confusing’ BRT road sign

The sign in Tichborne Way, Gosport, at the start of the new Bus Rapid Transit route
The sign in Tichborne Way, Gosport, at the start of the new Bus Rapid Transit route
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BAFFLED motorists are worried signs on the new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route in Gosport will be confusing to drivers.

Buses and emergency vehicles are allowed to use the road, but cars and motorbikes are not.

Now local residents have questioned why – if private vehicles are banned – there is a time limit on the sign in Tichborne Way telling motorists they cannot use the route from 5.45am to 11.15pm.

They say this could lead to confusion and the belief that drivers can drive on it after these hours.

Hampshire County Council says it has to be done this way to comply with government guidelines from the Department for Transport.

And it said at 11.15pm, when the route is closed, the sign will rotate to display a ‘No Entry’ warning.

Barriers will also prevent anyone from getting on the road, it added.

But Darren Sellen, 44, of nearby Savernake Close, said: ‘I think it is very confusing. It will cause problems for people driving past.

‘If I wasn’t from the area and didn’t know what the route was I would try and drive down there outside of those hours.

‘They say they are going to put barriers there but what if people try to use it a few minutes before it closes? Why can’t it just say “No Entry” all the time?

‘The other problem is people coming from out of town to visit the new leisure centre. They won’t know what it means and might try and park there.’

The council says anti-ram bollards will be installed at any point where cars could gain access to the busway using pedestrian or cycle points.

And it said vehicles parked illegally on the busway will be removed. As well as buses and emergency services, a number of other vehicles are exempt from the ban. They include special forces vehicles, road maintenance vehicles, breakdown vehicles, community safety service vehicles and undertakers.

Hampshire County Council could not say how much the signs cost.

The county councillor in charge of transport, Cllr Mel Kendal, said: ‘I can reassure residents the dedicated busway is only to be used by Eclipse authorised buses.

‘Because they are only allowed to operate on the route between 5.45am and 11.15pm, Department for Transport regulations stipulate a sign must be erected detailing the operational hours.

‘Outside of those hours the dedicated busway will be closed.’

The BRT scheme is expected to start running from April 22.