It’s the roll-out of a scheme that was piloted in the city centre by Leeds City Council back in 2011 – a scheme that brought the council over £2m in income from fines over the first 15 months of its operation.
“The pilot scheme has seen offences reduce consistently since commencement,” says a council report. “Surveys carried out prior to enforcement and pre-publicity recorded 9431 offences per week across 5 city centre sites. The number of offences following a publicity
campaign and enforcement has seen an average reduction of 90%.”
The move comes as Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson has decided to suspend bus lanes in the city for nine months as an experiment to see if life on the roads would be better without them.
Leeds council reckons that the 10 new sites will be self-financing, with each taking on average under a year to pay for installation, software and licensing, and maintenance costs.
The installation isn’t going to happen overnight, though.
The council has got to get authorisation from the Department for Transport before fitting the cameras that capture offenders automatically using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR).
New signs and road markings will also be installed at each site warning that enforcement is happening.
Cameras here to stay
An initial assessment of the city centre pilot last year said journey times had improved by up to a minute after the cameras had been installed.
“The pilot is already having a significant effect on compliance at key congestion points in the city centre. Therefore this approval will extend the benefits gained from the pilot to a further ten bus lanes in Leeds, maximising the value of the bus lane investment.
And once they’re installed, the new cameras will be here to stay.
“Research suggests that sustained, intensive enforcement that is well explained and publicised has a long lasting effect on driver behaviour,” the report says.
“Evidence also suggests that this improvement in driver behaviour is not sustained should the enforcement be removed. Given this, it is considered likely that there will always be a requirement for enforcement to ensure sustained punctuality and reliability improvements.”
Here’s a lit of the 10 new sites. You can find them on a map by clicking here and going to Appendix 3:
* A563 Dewsbury Road (Tesco Express, near Linden Road) – Outbound
* A58 Roundhay Road (new bus Lane, near Shepherds Lane) – Outbound
* B6157 Otley Road (near Shaw Lane) – Inbound
* A660 Woodhouse Lane (j/w Clarendon Road) – Outbound
* North Street Bus Gate (near A64(M)) – Inbound
* Burnmantofts Road (near A64 (M)) – Inbound
* York Street (near St Peter’s Place / Kirkgate) – Inbound
* A64 York Road (towards Marsh Lane) – Inbound
* A64 York Road (near Skelton Terrace) – Inbound
* A61 Low Road (near Balmoral Chase) – Inbound