Video: How hundreds of rat-runners are STILL defying the law in Norwich bus lane

A bus uses the Brazengate route legally. Hundreds more drivers have been caught using it illegally between 7.30-9.30am. Photo: Bill Smith A bus uses the Brazengate route legally. Hundreds more drivers have been caught using it illegally between 7.30-9.30am. Photo: Bill Smith

Friday, February 14, 2014
9:49 AM

On two mornings, police caught hundreds of drivers illegally using a Norwich bus lane as a rush-hour short-cut.

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Warnings were issued and stories written. But it appears that all the efforts were in vain.

For yesterday morning, we were out at the Brazengate to see almost 200 motorists flout the law in just an hour.

Police catch more than 170 drivers in Norwich bus lane

Police catch a further 190 drivers in Norwich bus lane

The police blitz on those nipping through the bus lane, which only operates between 7.30-9.30am Monday to Friday, followed an incident where a cyclist was seriously injured in a crash involving a car.

The cyclist suffered a fractured skull on January 10 at about 9am - during the time when only buses and taxis are allowed to enter the road and onto Brazengate, near Sainsbury’s.

Following the crash and complaints from people in the area, on Monday police caught 174 drivers caught ignoring the no entry sign a further 191 on Wednesday.

Police said all 365 motorists would be written to with a notice of intended prosecution.

Yesterday, between 8.18am and 9.18am we spotted 188 banned vehicles pass through the bus lane with 20 taxis and 11 buses - both of which are permitted to - as well as 34 cyclists and one mobility scooter.

Most of the vehicles which flouted the warning signs came straight over the mini roundabout on Grove Road rather than turning right, as they are supposed to, which would take them out onto Hall Road.

A 55-year-old woman, who did not want to be named, but who has lived on Victoria Street for five years, said: “I’m not surprised at all - people pay no attention at all to the signs. If we have the bus gate and the signs are there people should abide by the signage whether its necessary or not but that’s something that needs to be looked at by traffic management people.”

Chris Higgins, landlord of the Trafford Arms pub on Grove Road, said: “In no way do I condone anyone breaking the law but I wonder about what it’s supposed to achieve.”

Earlier this week, roads policing officer PC Bob Warrent said: “It is very disappointing that after so many drivers were caught on Monday and a considerable amount of publicity, even more drivers ignored the restriction on Wednesday.

“Using this route as a short-cut in the mornings is not acceptable – the restrictions are in place for a reason, are clearly signposted and thanks to traditional and social media are well known about, so there is no excuse for any driver.

“Motorists who flout the no entry signs are putting pedestrians and cyclists at risk and our patrols in this area will continue.”

• Have you got a crime story? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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