More signs to warn drivers about new bus lanes as fines mount

Extra signs warning drivers about bus lanes – or “bus gates” – in the centre of Brighton are on order to try to stop thousands of drivers going the wrong way.

Councillors were told though that the existing signs in the revamped Valley Gardens area, warning drivers about the bus lanes, went “above and beyond” the legal requirements.

Even so, in October, 9,600 penalty fines were issued to drivers breaking the rules – at the rate of one every two minutes during the day.

But the number of people fined for driving in the restricted bus lanes fell by almost a quarter in November, with the number creeping up again last month.

The figures were shared with Brighton and Hove City Council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee at a meeting at Hove Town Hall yesterday (Tuesday 18 January).

The council’s assistant director for transport, Mark Prior, told the committee that red road surfacing would be laid at each bus gate entrance in Valley Gardens.

And signs would be reinstalled for a further six months saying: “New road layout ahead.”

Mr Prior also said: “Independent adjudicators have studied the signs and road markings in Valley Gardens and advised that the authority went above and beyond the design and legal requirements to make the bus gates clear and therefore enforceable.

“All cases referred to the independent Traffic Penalty Tribunal, the final appeal stage for penalty charges related to the signs, have been upheld in the council’s favour.”

New repeater signs were on order for Marlborough Place to alert drivers to the bus gates. And an extra sign informing drivers about the correct routes was also on the way for the bottom of North Road.

Non-essential signs would be removed to avoid confusion – and council officials have written to satnav companies to ensure that they are aware of the restrictions. Google Maps and the AA had already updated their maps, councillors were told.

Videos to show drivers the correct routes had been commissioned and a media campaign was also under way.

The council filmed a video when the new layout was introduced in November 2020 which is still available on its Facebook page.

Last month the council published a map on its website showing the enforcement cameras in the Valley Gardens area.

Mr Prior said: “We consider these measures have been made appropriately to address some of the key reasons users give for travelling through the bus gates.

“We will continue to monitor the numbers which are expected to continue to decline.”

Conservative councillor Robert Nemeth asked for an up-to-date breakdown of camera fines given to drivers at all locations across Brighton and Hove before the meeting yesterday.

He also asked for details of the appeals that the council had won and lost for the past three years.

He was told that the information was not ready in time for the meeting.

  1. Hove Guy Reply

    So yet again BHCC have to admit that they got it wrong, by going above and beyond the legal requirements. Surely, in this case, they should be obliged to repay all those drivers who appealed against the ludicrous fines resulting from the incompetence of a bunch of clowns running the council? And once again it is the ratepayers who have to bear the expense of their lack of intelligence and utter greed.

  2. SlowFiets Reply

    Hi Hove Guy. Do you want to read the article again?
    “going above and beyond” doesn’t mean the council got it wrong – it means they got it right – and then some… Taking extra care to inform motorists who still didn’t pay attention or read the signs.

    The article explains why there is no need to repay fines. They were fairly taken.

    The “ratepayers” are not out of pocket here – we make money from motorists who just won’t stop breaking the law. A sort of tax on stupidity?

  3. Greens out Reply

    More signs?

    MORE? That’s the trouble, there are way too many and very ambiguous and unclear, doesn’t affect me as I know where and where not I can go but for those not familiar it would be a mare deciphering all the clutter.

  4. Mick Reply

    Shameful conduct; Glad I moved out of Brighton, let’s see if Rother is any better!

  5. Car Delenda Est Reply

    Expect the motorists to try and wiggle out of this too.

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