CCTV cameras will be used to catch motorists who illegally use South Shields bus lanes

A bus lane camera on Westoe Road outside South Shields Town Hall.
A bus lane camera on Westoe Road outside South Shields Town Hall.

THERE will soon be no hiding place for motorists who drive illegally in bus lanes in South Tyneside – with offenders facing a £60 fine.

The council has introduced semi-fixed CCTV cameras to enforce bus lanes in the borough, which have previously been enforced using a manned CCTV vehicle.

Bus drivers are reporting problems on bus lanes in Fowler Street and Keppel Street, which is delaying their services, particularly during peak times such as rush hour. We’re confident that the new cameras will improve bus services’ reliability as well as generally improving road safety in the area.

Coun Allan West

The first area to be covered is around South Shields town centre.

And cameras – which are to ‘go live’ at the end of this month – have been installed in Westoe Road, Sunderland Road, Fowler Street and Keppel Street, although the plan is to move them to bus lane ‘hotspots’ across the borough when necessary.

Bus lanes were introduced to reduce the number of pedestrian casualties and improve bus services in South Shields town centre.

But drivers have reported up to 40 motorists an hour driving in bus lanes illegally, which is delaying services.

Coun Tracey Dixon, the council’s lead member for area management and community safety, said: “It has always been illegal to drive in the bus lanes during the restricted times.

“We are just introducing a new method of enforcement.

“The CCTV vehicle is being used increasingly to improve road safety outside our schools, which is one of our key priorities.

“We will be using two semi-fixed cameras, meaning they can be rotated on a three-monthly basis around five different locations.”

Motorists caught using the lanes illegally will face a £60 fine, reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.

Coun Allan West, the council’s lead member for housing and transport, added: “Bus drivers are reporting problems on bus lanes in Fowler Street and Keppel Street, which is delaying their services, particularly during peak times such as rush hour.

“We’re confident that the new cameras will improve bus services’ reliability as well as generally improving road safety in the area.”

The cost of the two cameras is being funded through the Local Transport Plan.