Driver fined for using bus lane on Christmas Day
- Credit: Bill Smith - Archant
Calls have been made for leniency after a motorist was fined for driving in one of the city's bus lanes on Christmas Day, when no buses run.
The junction of Grove Road and Brazengate in Norwich operates as a bus-only lane between 7.30am and 9.30am Monday-Friday, allowing for more efficient public transport during the morning rush.
The cameras are permanently focused on the junction and any motorist found using the lane between these hours is fined - a system run by Norfolk County Council but enforced on its behalf by City Hall.
However, calls have been made for the traffic order to be lifted on public holidays after a motorist was fined for entering the bus lane on Christmas Day.
Raising the matter in a question to Norwich City Council's cabinet member for transport, Liberal Democrat councillor Caroline Ackroyd described the fine as "a rather opportunistic way of making money when common sense would say that there is no need to have the bus gate operating when buses are not running".
Fellow Lib Dem councillor James Wright said: "We obviously understand the importance of bus gates and why they exist, but it seems silly for them to be operating when there aren't any buses on the roads."
But Mike Stonard, the Labour-led council's cabinet member for transport, said the city council undertook enforcement of the cameras on behalf of the county council - and that any changes would need to be asked of the Conservative-led council.
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He added: "I do not want to get involved in a dispute between you and the county council if I can avoid it, but I am happy to raise the matter with them."
Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council's cabinet member for transport, said: "This is a very good point that has been raised as indeed no buses run on Christmas Day.
"I’m sure that any questions on how enforcement action is carried out are something councillors would be happy to look into.”