Bus Lane Enforcement
Topic of the practice
Encouraging the use of public and shared transport
Good Practice Information
It is a good example of Public Transport Priority Systems encouraging the use of buses through Bus Lane Enforcement. The enforcement uses Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) to enforce the use of bus lanes and bus only gates in Reading and discourage contraventions by general traffic. These lanes can be used by buses, taxis, emergency vehicles and cyclists but not private hire vehicles. There are 23 enforcement sites in total of which half is automated using ANPR and half is attended enforcement using CCTV.
In addition Reading has a camera car, introduced in 2012, which is used to identify parking offences such as parking in bus lanes. This strong policy of investing in public transport and public transport priority over recent years has resulted in Reading having more bus lanes per kilometre of road than anywhere else in the UK.
Evidence of success
In 2011/12 approx £3.5m was raised for the funding of the ‘dial a ride’ scheme. The first bus lane penalty charge notice (PCN) was issued in September 2006. Between Sep-06 and Apr-13 over 270,000 bus lane/gate PCNs have been issued.
There is no longer queuing in bus lanes by general traffic on the approach to junctions. This has not been specifically measured but has been observed. Also this leads to improved bus journey times and a clear message that buses have priority over traffic in Reading.
The main success of the project was the Department for Transport support for making bus lane enforcement a civil offence as well as the support for the coordination of the Highway Authorities in setting up the technical and procedural requirements for implementation.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Reading Borough Council
Annex completed on: 05-20-2014