Bus lanes will just be way of getting fines from drivers
The proposed introduction of bus lanes along the A426 appears to be nothing to do with increasing bus usage but a blatant piece of opportunism by the city and county councils to raise money through fines.
With the 24/7 bus lanes policed by road and on-board bus cameras, the policy is clear – catch frustrated drivers using the bus lane or the unsuspecting out-of-county visitor unaware of the draconian bus lane ban.
The £30 fines will mount up quickly as they have done in places such as Glasgow to provide a lucrative source of income for councils.
If the politicians were to be honest about the objectives, they may get a little more respect but to say bus lanes will mean drivers switching to buses is simply untrue; it has not made any difference in other areas of the city and why should it along the A426 when the majority of traffic turns right or left at the Soar Valley Road Junction, while buses only go straight on?
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
The fundamental problem with buses is that they are expensive and do not go where the majority of people wish to travel.
If Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council genuinely wish to increase bus usage, let's see bus routes that serve the public.
Instead of the "points of the compass" approach of current bus routes, let's see more of a "spider's web" style, where people can link by bus to places they want to get to without having to use a car.
If this was coupled with a creative pricing structure, targeted at motorists, then the increasing congestion and the resultant pollution could start to be tackled.
Let's hope the county council leader Nick Rushton learns from the expensive mistakes in transport policy with the Enderby Park and Ride Scheme (under-utilised and an expensive ongoing burden to the taxpayer).
He has the opportunity to steer a new course.
Residents of Glen Parva regularly experience gridlock whenever the M1 is closed or local rivers flood; we have to live with the planners' mistakes.
We know bus lanes will not improve the environment by reducing congestion (supposedly a prerequisite to the Government funding of the bus lane). The queues will get bigger as new housing developments in Countesthorpe and Lubbesthorpe add to the traffic chaos.
Pollution will increase further from the 2010 figures, where average levels in the Glenhills Way outer ring road, between Eyres Monsell and Aylestone, were already double the limits imposed by the European Union.
Last year, Sir Peter Soulsby promised swift and dramatic action to clean up the environment, but his intention to "lobby the Government for greater powers to regulate the city's public transport to reduce bus fares" appears to have resulted in no reduction to fares and a proposed bus lane that does not solve the underlying problem.
Let our local councillors and buses serve the public, not be dictated to by transport planners who have consistently proven their inability to grasp the reality of today's traffic congestion and the reasons why people who have a choice, chose not to travel by bus.
Nigel Comley, Glen Parva.