Drivers who flout the rules at a controversial road junction in South Tyuneside deserve all they get - according to Gazette readers.
Road traffic chiefs delivered a potentially expensive blow to hundreds of drivers who have been caught on camera at the Edinburgh Road/A194 Leam Lane junction at Jarrow’s Scotch Estate after the Traffic Penalty Tribunal ruled that the warning signs are adequate.
Council chiefs stand to rake in a staggering £210,000 in fines after 3,506 motorists were caught on camera flouting the “bus only” rule on the 20m stretch of road in just three months.
Coun Allan West, lead member for housing and transport at South Tyneside Council, said: “Our absolute priority is road safety and the exit was closed to vehicles except buses to enhance safety.
“The restrictions also help to ease congestion and improve traffic flows at what is a very busy gateway in and out of South Shields.
“There has been some challenge following the closure of the road, with particular reference to the signs in place.
“However, the response from the Traffic Penalty Tribunal is further assurance for the travelling public that the bus gate at Edinburgh Road is clearly signed and complies with the requisite Department for Transport regulations.
Gazette readers have again been quick to jump to the defence of council bosses in the long-running row.
On the Gazette Facebook page, Alison Irving wrote: “There are plenty of signs warning of this. If people can’t read them, then maybe they shouldn’t be driving.
Neil M Robinson added: “How can people say there is no signage?
“There’s six foot high letters on the road telling you it’s a BUS LANE. If he can’t see that then he should not be driving.”
Colin Slater wrote: “People deserve a fine whether they think the new junction is right or not.
“T here is signage there and it’s has been all over Facebook and The Gazette for months now.
“Anybody using is now is just defiantly using the lane. So, they are either ignorant or can’t read road signs. I’d double the fines if I were in charge.”
Stephen Cuthbertson added: “At the end of the day, if you can’t read a road sign you shouldn’t be driving.
“It’s a bus lane and, if you go in it, you get fined simple as that.
“It’s been sign posted for weeks.”
Jane Coates sees things diffrently.
She wrote: “People are calling all the people bad drivers who can’t read. Neither can any of them. It’s called a bus gate. If you look in the Highway Code it never mentions BUS GATE as a prohibited exit.”