Chelmsford ‘confusing’ bus gate signs need review, says MP

  • 12 February 2019

Duke Street Bus Gate, Chelmsford
Image caption It has been illegal to drive down the Chelmsford bus gate for seven years but cameras were only installed in 2017

An MP has called for road signs at a bus gate to be reviewed after a psychologist had a fine quashed because there were too many signs to look at.

Bernardine King had her penalty charge notice overturned after arguing the brain could not process so many signs.

Chelmsford MP Vicky Ford said she had been fined herself at the Duke Street bus gate and wanted the county council to “review the whole situation”.

But Essex County Council said there was “no new review planned”.

Dr King was issued with the penalty in November after driving through the short stretch of bus-only road, near Chelmsford railway station.

Image caption Chelmsford MP Vicky Ford said a review needed to be carried out to see if the signage was “appropriate”

The city’s Tory MP said although the restrictions helped traffic flow, a “large number of people” had been caught.

Ms Ford said: “They should do another review of whether the signage of that bus gate is appropriate.

“I myself was caught early on and was quite surprised.

“Let’s do another review of the whole signage around the railway station to make sure people aren’t having to fork out huge fines just because they make a mistake.”

Image caption Psychologist Bernardine King said there were too many signs for drivers to process around the Duke Street bus gate

Dr King won her appeal after claiming there were too many signs for the brain to process and the tribunal agreed signage was inadequate.

A traffic penalty adjudicator said although some of the signs by the bus gate were large and easily visible, they were “cluttered” together and meant “drivers could be confused”.

Enforcement cameras were installed in 2017 but it had been illegal to drive through the gate since 2011.

The county council has collected £1.5m after 54,000 drivers were fined.

The authority said the signage was reviewed before the cameras were switched on, 3,000 leaflets were sent and the words “bus gate” were painted on the road’s entrances in 5ft (15m) high letters.

BBC News – England

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