ANPR camera use decision questioned as moped riders cry “foul”
Residents have complained about lack of consultation about the proposed use of ANPR cameras to enforce bus lane restrictions on Low Poppleton Lane. A decision was made to scrap the current rising bollard enforcement system following problems with reliability. Instead ANPR “spy” cameras will monitor the Low Poppleton Lane/Millfield Lane junction.
A media release from the Council last week claimed that the decision to use cameras had been made by the Executive member at a meeting which took place on 14th September. The media release said, “All traffic other than local bus services and the Manor School mini bus will be prohibited from passing through this restriction”
It is clear from the minutes of the Executive Member meeting, that the plans for Low Poppleton Lane – one of many roads assessed for possible bus priority enforcement changes – would be subject to a further report. This would have allowed residents and road users to raise any issues.
The report said, “It is recommended that further detailed reports are prepared where appropriate to enable the Executive Member to confirm the approach for each location prior to implementation”.
No such report has subsequently been published for the Low Poppleton Lane plan.
It has now emerged that a council official – at a private meeting held a week previously on 8th September – had already agreed to introduce the camera enforcement.
That report can be read by clicking here
Residents do not see these reports in advance of the decision being taken. It can be several weeks before the decision appears on – a very obscure – part of the Council web site.
The report recognises the potentially controversial use of cameras.
It says “It is proposed to implement the enforcement on the following basis:
· 2-week grace period with a letter sent to all drivers who pass through the area during the restriction period notifying them of the changes.
· A further 2 weeks with first offence warning letters indicating that a Penalty Charge Notice would be issued if the vehicle passed through the restriction again.
· Following those periods PCNs would be issued on all vehicles which contravened the TRO”.
The report confirms that only buses and the Manor school bus would be exempt from the restrictions. There is no relaxation for taxis or two wheeled transport riders.
There appears to have been no thought given to the safety of moped users. At present moped riders can pass between the raised bollards and use the traffic controlled and hence safe junction at Boroughbridge Road. There is also lightly trafficked route to Poppleton from Millfield Lane where Manor school is now located.
If mopeds, which can be ridden by 16-year olds and which have a governed maximum speed of 30 mph, are banned from using Low Poppleton Lane, then they will be diverted onto the A1237 by pass.
This is a very busy stretch of road. Right turns at the two roundabouts on the alternative route would be especially hazardous in dark and rainy conditions. An underpass is provided for pedal cyclists at the A59 roundabout
It seems that in its haste to avoid a public discussion about ANPR camera use, the Council has failed to address a potentially serious safety risk.
The implementation of the camera scheme should be suspended until these fears are resolved.