A bid to drive change at a controversial new road junction where 3,500 fines have been dished out in less than three months is gathering speed.
Fifteen-hundred people have signed an online petition demanding the scrapping of a bus-only lane at Edinburgh Road, on the Scotch Estate, Jarrow.
The Gazette revealed on Thursday how council chiefs could rake in up to £210,000 from the penalty notice hotspot, active since July 24.
The staggering tally comes from drivers being caught on camera going through the ‘bus gate’ and onto the new three-lane A194 and out of South Tyneside.
Now Barry Young, 49 – himself subject to a fine – expects his petition to be handed to South Tyneside Council later this month.
The married carer, who lives in Columbia, Washington, has already had his appeal against the ticket dismissed by the council.
He now plans to take his case to the independent roads ombudsman – and is urging others to do the same.
Mr Young said: “The signage on this road is not only inadequate, but it is also incorrectly marked.
“When I went through this junction, I simply didn’t see any signs at all, and it can’t be right that they can be so easily missed.
“I’m actually pleased that the council has rejected my appeal, as it means I can take my case higher up.
“You’ve got to stand by your guns and do what’s right, and ideally I’d like to see all these fines overturned.”
The 20m-long bus gate forms part of a £7.5m traffic improvement scheme, which was completed in July.
The council has closed the exit to vehicles except buses to enhance safety, following a history of accidents, and to improve traffic flow.
It insists the introduction of the scheme has been widely publicised and that all signage was in accordance road traffic regulations.
Mr Young’s petition is set to be handed to the full council meeting on Thursday, October 26.
Those to add their name include Maxine Reed, from Jarrow, who said: “I am signing this petition because the traffic flowed from Edinburgh Road nicely to begin with.
“Closing it to other road users is making the side roads more dangerous to cross for schoolchildren.”
Chloe Johnstone, from Jarrow, added: “They did it so we didn’t have to cross three lanes to get out, however we still have to cross three lanes on the new exit if we want to go straight ahead.
“It’s hypocritical and causes an absolute pain for all the residents of the estate.”
And Julie Pybis, also from Jarrow, said: “There’s going to be an accident if it’s not changed.”
The petition can be found at www.change.org/p/south-tyneside-council-remove-bus-gate-from-edinburgh-road-south-tyneside