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No-one fined in bus station jaywalking ‘crackdown’

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Twelve months after a major campaign to crack down on jaywalkers at Preston Bus Station was launched, not one person has been fined, it can be revealed.

Not a single court summons has been issued, but council chiefs say the deterrent has been working and the issue of people jaywalking over the apron is now less of a problem.

Preston Council launched its safety campaign in August last year in a blaze of publicity.

Initially officers adopted a ‘softly, softly’ approach, taking names and addresses and sending out warning letters threatening court action and a possible £500 fine if offenders were caught again.

A week later, the council pledged to start prosecuting.

Since then the ownership of the bus station has transferred to Lancashire County Council, but no one has been prosecuted.

A spokesman said: “I can confirm that we haven’t prosecuted anyone for crossing the apron but we reserve the right to if it becomes an issue again.”

However, council chiefs say they believe the measures have been affective. Posters adorn the fencing surrounding the bus station threatening of the fine and two designated paths are being used by passenegrs.

Tony Moreton, assistant director for sustainable transport, said: “The measures brought in by Preston City Council before the county council took ownership of the bus station have been effective in deterring people from crossing the apron and it is now less of a problem.

“The walkways at either end of the apron mean there is now a safe and more accessible route across, the signs make the prohibition clear, and people seem to have taken on board the message that it is something we take very seriously and it’s therefore simply not worth their while just to take a shortcut.

“Our security staff also monitor the apron on CCTV and make it very clear to anyone found attempting to cross that their actions are unacceptable and could lead to prosecution which is a good deterrent and means people generally don’t try to do it again.

“The plans we are developing for the future of the bus station include proposals for improving access for pedestrians and will provide a permanent solution but in the meantime we’ll continue to monitor the situation very closely.”

Over the years, four people have been killed in accidents on the concourse, which is used by 56,000 passengers and sees 2,700 vehicle movements a day. The most recent was a grandmother who died after being trapped under a reversing bus in May 2008.

Preston bus station campaigner John Wilson said he thinks the crackdown has worked as less people are cutting across the apron, but says the front of the station needs tidying up.

He said: “It still looks like an Eastern European concentration camp - it needs tidying up.

“They say they don’t need all 80 bays, I suggested they reduce the first 15 bays from bay one at the Guild Hall to bay 15 opposite St John’s and have an open apron.

“It needs opening up and being made more presentable.”

John said he didn’t think the threat of a £500 was the right move. He said: “It just needs monitoring. Security do a good job, it comes down to common sense.”

 

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