Preston’s big switch-on was totally ignored by one in five motorists yesterday, suggesting the great bus lane saga is not going away any time soon.
READ MORE: Fishergate bus lane cameras are back...with a vengeance
Enforcement cameras weren’t the only lenses trained on Fishergate’s no-go zone when it officially went ‘live’ at 11am.
Two TV crews and the Post were all watching to see if the avalanche of publicity which the scheme has generated over the past 12 months has finally made drivers sit up and take notice.
And while the message seemed to have sunk in with around 80 per cent of motorists, the rest were either continuing to ignore it, or just blissfully unaware they were doing anything wrong.
We counted 15 vehicles using the bus lane in the first 30 minutes of the cameras being reactivated. And that was on one of the quietest times of the week, with traffic extremely light.
Even at that rate more than 200 could be snared each day, with 6,000 a month contributing between £30 and £60 to County Hall coffers through penalty notices. That may be well down on the figures from last November when 8,000 tickets were issued in the first week. But it still represents a hefty income for the highways authority if motorists continue to take little notice of the huge new warning signs which have now been erected.Those caught on camera yesterday are set to get just a slap on the wrist with a warning letter as part of a “short” grace period by the council.
Coun Yousuf Motala, who represents the city centre on LCC, said: “It is ridiculous. This scheme is ill thought out and unpopular with almost everyone you talk to. Not even Preston Council has been consulted over this - and it’s their city centre.”
Things could ease next week when Lune Street is set to get two-way traffic.