CCTV will hit drivers flouting Tunbridge Wells vehicle ban with £60 fine
By Kent and Sussex Courier | Friday, September 06, 2013, 06:00
MOTORISTS flouting a ban on vehicles near a busy zebra crossing in Tunbridge Wells will soon be slapped with a £60 fine from a council-owned CCTV car.
VEHICLE BAN: People at the Fiveways crossing. Only buses and cyclists can use Fiveways from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's CCTV safety car
Only buses and cyclists are allowed to use Fiveways between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Saturday.
But council figures show it is ignored by more than 100 drivers an hour.
The camera-carrying car is now just weeks away from capturing the drivers red-handed and issuing a postal ticket.
The borough council bought the safety car last year at a cost of more than £20,000.
It took to the roads around schools last September, but was not used to clampdown on Fiveways because a Traffic Regulation Order to enforce the buses-only policy was not in place.
But this week that permission from Kent County Council was given and now it is officially against the law for vehicles to drive along the road.
David Neve, the council's Liberal Democrat group leader, said: "It does need enforcing. It should have been done years ago. It was set up for this reason – to stop cars going through.
"But maybe not at the highest allowed ticket charge. We should have a dummy run of two weeks with people getting 'tickets' but not charged. We will be going straight in at £60."
The council had a Tunbridge Wells Is Safety Aware roadshow at Fiveways last year, where the safety car was on show and the public could ask questions.
Mr Neve said: "It is not a safety car. They are just trying to make money. It was set up for this reason." He said because it was a bus lane "bureaucracy" meant the signs had to be blue.
"Forget the red tape and stupid Government rules. If the signs were red then everyone knows what that means," he said.
Resident Roger Buss, 58, of Reynolds Lane, who has logged hundreds of vehicles using the gateway, said: "It's a deterrent. It is dangerous there. You use the road between those times and all of a sudden you see a car coming towards you when you should only be looking out for buses or cyclists," he said.
But he added the scheme should start off by sending warning letters through the post.
"And if they do it again, they get a fine," he said.
The council will be putting up notices in the town and will be leafleting local businesses.
It said: "There are still some legal formalities to be completed before enforcement can begin, but the agreement which authorises the council to enforce the bus lane is in place."