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Why does the Council feel the need to enforce bus lanes on Xmas Day?

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Taxis / Private Hire Vehicles are seen as public transport.

 

One taxi can fulfil the transport needs of many people throughout the day, which means those people don't need to use a car and clog up the already congested streets.

 

Most towns / cities allow taxis to use bus lanes, some allow Private Hire Vehicles (PHV's).

 

I'm not aware of any towns / cities where they have actually stopped taxis / PHV's having access. The growing trend is for more towns/cities to allow PHV's in bus lanes.

 

You also have to remember that decisions like this are political ones, taken by Councillors. The taxi lobby is quite strong politically in Sheffield.

 

Taxi drivers mostly have only one passenger at a time.

 

At rush hour times I doubt very much that they can commute multiple people separately to their places of work at different parts of the city.

 

When a typical person travels to work in their car, the car will generally be sat going nowhere for eight hours until the home commute. Taxis drive around all day/night.

Edited by Alan Hartley

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I suppose you are one of the cycle idiots who prefer to use the pavements or not bother stopping at red lights

 

You are so far from the truth its laughable.

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When a typical person travels to work in their car, the car will generally be sat going nowhere for eight hours until the home commute. Taxis drive around all day/night.

So using a taxi reduces the demand for parking as well as reducing the overall number of cars using the road.

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So using a taxi reduces the demand for parking as well as reducing the overall number of cars using the road.

 

Not really..Bit too simplistic .

Edited by nikki-red
fixed the quotes

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So using a taxi reduces the demand for parking as well as reducing the overall number of cars using the road.

 

Not really..Bit too simplistic .

 

 

I think it's a fair assumption that if taxis no longer existed, the taxi users would transfer to a variety of transport modes, including use of a car, so there would overall be more vehicles on the road and there would be higher demand for parking.

 

If you don't agree, do explain your reasoning.

 

Like them or not, most towns and cities allow taxis to use bus lanes and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Increasing numbers of towns and cities are also allowing private hire vehicles in bus lanes.

Edited by Planner1
fixed the quotes

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I think it's affair assumption that if taxis no longer existed, the taxi users would transfer to a variety of transport modes, including use of a car, so there would overall be more vehicles on the road and there would be higher demand for parking.

 

If you don't agree, do explain your reasoning.

 

Like them or not, most towns and cities allow taxis to use bus lanes and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Increasing numbers of towns and cities are also allowing private hire vehicles in bus lanes.

 

You said using a taxi reduces demand for parking, and the number of cars on the road .. However if someone walks instead of using a taxi ,theres one less car on the road..Hope this helps.

Edited by nikki-red
fixed the quote

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I note you are not a motorist.

 

Can I ask what has sparked your interest in this subject? You appear to be spending a lot of time on it.

 

- My interest of bus lanes was sparked after my brother got caught in a bus lane on a bank holiday Monday morning on Mansfield Road. The Council informed him that they believed the signs were "clear and understandable. " I decided to see if motorists got caught out, more on a bank holiday on Mansfield Road, compared to say a normal working day Monday. The findings showed that for that particular bus lane, there was an average five fold increase in contraventions on a bank holiday Monday - 48, compared to the average for a normal working day Monday, when the average is 10. I then decided to check all the enforced bus lanes in the city, and although some showed a decrease on Bank holiday Mondays compared to an average working day Monday, contraventions on a whole increased by 30%. Mansfield Rd and Moore Street showed massive increases. I spoke to the Council's Parking Services and found also that they would be enforcing bus lanes etc also on Christmas Day. So, I wondered whether other Council's did the same, so it snowballed and I decided to check further. My findings found that almost the entire Borough Councils in Greater London decide not to enforce including the City of London and Transport for London, who operate the Red Route system. Around half of the 16 major City Councils in the UK, I made contact with, also chose not to enforce bus lane restrictions on Christmas Day.

 

Boston St bus lane only operates 07.30 to 09.30am. It operates pretty much like a part time bus gate rather than a bus lane. It's the only actual bus lane I can think of in Sheffield which doesn't stop before the junction. (it used to be a bus gate higher up Boston St which prevented all traffic coming down Boston St, but the Council moved it to current location so that drivers could go ahead and right at London Rd junction)

 

- Boston Street bus lane is in fact classed as a Bus Lane; it is NOT a bus gate as you have stated.

 

You contend that drivers can "not deliberately" enter a bus lane. To me that insinuates that drivers are not always in control of where their vehicle is positioned on the road. They should be.

 

- I am not against bus lanes etc, but motorists do not necessarily know if a bus lane is operational on say a Bank Holiday as figures show or may also not be aware that even if you 'partially' enter you could be penalised. I feel many are unwittingly getting caught out, like my brother did and those partially entering say at the end of a bus lane by nipping in too soon. I have witnessed this behaviour at Moore St, where I saw none contravening any other way.

 

If drivers pull into a bus lane, even partially, out of necessity, to avoid an obstruction, this can be picked up on the video clip which is recorded and a penalty may not actually be issued (all contraventions, including those recorded on automatic cameras are reviewed by an operator before the penalty is issued). They also have access to a regulated appeal process which includes an appeal to the independent Traffic Penalty Tribunal, who, in my experience, tend to err on the side of "fairness".

 

- There is an article online where a motorist got caught on Christmas Day in a bus lane in London. He appealed to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal but lost his appeal. When it got in the papers, the Council backed down. https://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/driver-fined-for-using-bus-lane-on-christmas-day-when-there-are-no-buses-a3155566.html

 

Not all contraventions of bus lanes are picked up by enforcement cameras.

 

Automatic cameras have a tightly defined detection area and anything which goes into the lane in that area is recorded. Anything outside the detection area is not recorded.

 

With manually operated cameras, the operator has to zoom in and track the vehicle while recording. The operator can only observe one camera at a time and record one contravention at a time. Therefore not all contraventions are detected and recorded.

 

- I am aware of this and some cameras are operated via ANPR and manually viewed later ie Queens Road and others.

 

 

 

I have responded within your 'Quote'.

 

All I wish to achieve with my efforts is to help motorists in the city to become more aware of when bus lanes are in operation, to raise awareness ie many motorists possibly don't realise that you can be penalised for partially entering a bus lane even at the end.

 

The Council should wish that nobody ever gets caught and bus lanes etc were there whether or not they generated any money.

 

That would be the ideal scenario.

 

I have mentioned the Matrix system maybe being utilised more to advise motorists when bus lanes are in force, especially during public and bank holiday periods.

 

If there are areas where drivers are unwittingly making errors, not deliberately, the Council should show willingness to investigate and make motorists more aware rather than sitting back and allowing penalties to continue.

 

After all, bus lanes are not there to make money, but to "keep the city moving, allowing buses and trams to move more freely."

Edited by diezeltruck

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I think it's affair assumption that if taxis no longer existed, the taxi users would transfer to a variety of transport modes, including use of a car, so there would overall be more vehicles on the road and there would be higher demand for parking.

Parking yes. But number of vehicle miles driven, no. Even if they ALL replaced taxi journeys with car journeys, the taxi actually has to drive further than the private car.

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I have responded within your 'Quote'.

 

All I wish to achieve with my efforts is to help motorists in the city to become more aware of when bus lanes are in operation, to raise awareness ie many motorists possibly don't realise that you can be penalised for partially entering a bus lane even at the end.

 

The Council should wish that nobody ever gets caught and bus lanes etc were there whether or not they generated any money.

 

That would be the ideal scenario.

 

I have mentioned the Matrix system maybe being utilised more to advise motorists when bus lanes are in force, especially during public and bank holiday periods.

 

If there are areas where drivers are unwittingly making errors, not deliberately, the Council should show willingness to investigate and make motorists more aware rather than sitting back and allowing penalties to continue.

 

After all, bus lanes are not there to make money, but to "keep the city moving, allowing buses and trams to move more freely."

 

The Council's position is that they would prefer drivers to just comply with the restrictions. However, experience has shown that the threat of enforcement is often needed to ensure drivers do comply with these restrictions. An example of this is the bus gate on Glossop Rd, which was roundly abused by drivers, causing delays to public transport, until it was camera enforced.

 

There are restrictions on the type of messages that can be used on matrix signs, so I'm not sure whether it's possible for them to be used to advise motorists about bus lane / gate restrictions. I'll ask the team that operate them. It might be worth a try if they can. It has to be said though that the signing of bus lanes and gates is clear an unambiguous. They operate by time of day, day of week or 24/7. There is no suggestion anywhere that thy would not apply on a public holiday, so I'm not sure why any driver would even think that they might not apply.

 

The Council's problem is that people like yourself are asking for more information for drivers, but others complain about signing overload and too much street clutter.

 

The signing the Council uses is compliant with all government regulations and the traffic penalty tribunal will certainly tell the Council if they don't think signing is clear enough at any site when they adjudicate on appeals. The Council then normally revises the signing accordingly.

 

It's the drivers duty to ensure they are familiar with signs which are commonly in use and to comply with the restrictions they convey. If drivers make a "mistake", the purpose of the financial penalty is to remind them not to do so again.

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Nobody is concerned about the signs being unclear or illegal, it's common sense that bus lanes shouldn't operate on days with reduced public transport service and traffic generally though.

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Nobody is concerned about the signs being unclear or illegal, it's common sense that bus lanes shouldn't operate on days with reduced public transport service and traffic generally though.

 

why is it common sense?

 

if traffic generally is lighter on these days then why should anyone want or have a need to use bus lanes?

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Nobody is concerned about the signs being unclear or illegal, it's common sense that bus lanes shouldn't operate on days with reduced public transport service and traffic generally though.

 

It might be common sense to you, but the government, who set the signing regulations, don't agree.

 

They have set it up that they can operate either 24/7 or by time of day and day of week. There is no facility to lawfully sign that bus lanes would not operate on public holidays.

 

Also, as others have said, in lighter traffic conditions, drivers gain no advantage by using a bus lane so why do they feel the need to do so?

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