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Exclusive: Hand of God halts bus lane

Controversial Mount Pleasant CCTV switched off after cathedral Dean intervenes

Written by . Published on July 17th 2012.


Exclusive: Hand of God halts bus lane

LIVERPOOL'S most controversial bus-lane has been suspended following divine intervention from above.

Since late May, thousands of motorists have been unwittingly snared while driving alongside Liverpool’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Mount Pleasant.

Liverpool Confidential exclusively revealed the unholy switch-on of the bus-lane cameras, witnessing the spectacle of motorists in their hundreds notching up fines of up to £60.

Many, including disabled drivers, were on their way to the cathedral, unaware they had sinned - at least in the eyes of the city council. 

Mount-Pleasant-Liverpool 

God couldn’t attend a meeting to protest at the scheme, so instead He sent his main man in Liverpool, Canon Anthony O’Brien, Dean of the Cathedral.

Canon O’Brien has now told his flock that the cameras zooming over Busgate, outside the wigwam, have been temporarily switched off.

Halleluiah, let the bells rings out.

Yesterday the signs warning of the bus-lane were removed.

Canon O’Brien said: "Driving through this stretch of Mount Pleasant has been restricted to buses, taxis, cycles and other 'authorised vehicles' for the past month.

"Despite the signs hundreds of drivers who have not observed the restrictions have driven through and are likely to be fined. Further consultations between the Cathedral, Liverpool University, other interested parties and the city council are to take place."

The Dean said in particular he was greatly concerned at the impossibility of disabled parking because of the restrictions and the difficulties encountered by those arriving at the Cathedral by car for services or visits.

The cameras were installed months ago as part of Liverpool City Council’s CCMS – City Centre Movement Strategy – aimed at ‘improving’ traffic flow in and around the city. Bus lanes in the city centre are now raking in millions of pounds a year from motorists.

The Mount Pleasant bus lane site proved to be one of the most controversial is not even part of a regular bus route. Only student buses use the stretch of Mount Pleasant, mainly in term times, and a local runaround mldi-bus uses the route.

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral

Originally the council wanted to turn a stretch of Mount Pleasant, close to the Brownlow Hill junction, into a pedestrian area on safety grounds because of the large number of students congregating there. The bus-lane was introduced as a compromise, it claimed,  to enable access to university and cathedral car parks.

Liverpool's Cabinet member for Regeneration, Cllr Malcolm Kennedy, said: "I ordered the switch off of the cameras following a meeting I had with Canon O'Brien. It was clear people were heading towards the cathedral car park, not realizing they were using the bus lane. We will now carry out a review to determine whether there should be an amended scheme, a new scheme or scrapping the bus lane altogether."
 

People who receive penalty tickets are entitled to appeal against the fine. Their chances of winning are likely to be increased following the latest decision.

It is not yet known how many penalty tickets were issued as a result of the scheme.

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23 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Darth FormbyJuly 17th 2012.

About time too. I've got a lot of confessions to catch up on.

Carl WalkerJuly 17th 2012.

Question is will they refund all the wonga they've made out of this

RobertJuly 17th 2012.

Another stroke of genius by the City Centre Movement Strategy wallah's - what difference did that stretch make to speeding up 699 student bus times = ZERO.

Refunds indeed...but what about the countless folk who miss specific ticketed trains at Lime Street (thus have to pay full price for another single ticket) thanks to the botched job of directing traffic away from Lime Street, up Copperas Hill to turn back down the often super congested Skelhorne St?

1 Response: Reply To This...
Lord StreetJuly 17th 2012.

Hear hear!

AnonymousJuly 17th 2012.

The city centre movement strategy has clearly been thought up by well paid idiots who give public sector workers a bad name

Jonathan WalkerJuly 17th 2012.

I blame the buskers

1 Response: Reply To This...
Return of the Ged-iJuly 17th 2012.

I knew you'd come around to my way of thinking, Sonny Boy

Corpie MacJuly 17th 2012.

Are there any public sector workers left? We're all on the dole aren't we?

Corpie MacJuly 17th 2012.

Are there any public sector workers left? We're all on the dole aren't we?

Lord StreetJuly 17th 2012.

Not that I dare correct the Almighty, but his aim's a bit off on the picture. He is shown smiting the Mare Tranquillitatis or the Mare Serenitatis on the Moon rather than the Liverpool Town Hall!

KnowlegeableJuly 17th 2012.

That's where they all live

Corpie MacJuly 17th 2012.

Uncle Joe - a SONTARAN? You must be mad - unless you have photographic evidence of course...

AnonymousJuly 17th 2012.

Good for you Councillor Kennedy. It is great to see we have some councillors who listen to concerns, and more importantly react to those concerns. Would it not be better to house-train some of the officials to stop them running amok in the first place. Some of them shouldn't be allowed out unleashed.

Captain JackJuly 17th 2012.

Corpie Mac, your photographic evidence is here: www.liverpoolconfidential.co.uk/…/Liverpool-put-on-World-Heritage-danger-list…

SaladDazeJuly 17th 2012.

I've made the Nine First Fridays and they gave me a travel pass so this holds no terrors for me unless I get on the 79c by mistake.

Emma BJuly 17th 2012.

Another Kennedy who submits to Rome?

AnonymousJuly 18th 2012.

Well done on breaking another fine story and the rest of the local media catching up today!

AnonymousJuly 18th 2012.

I've got a drawer full of these things. Robbing bastards

AnonymousJuly 18th 2012.

You could always read the signs rather than driving around with your eyes closed? Novel idea eh? It's always someone else's fault in this city isn't it?

Paul TwartJuly 19th 2012.

Anonymous, there isn't even a bus that goes along here. Thousands of motorists have been done on a road that since it was built has had no restrictions. There was no widespread announcement of this. It's a disgrace. I take it you don't drive?

Maurice MinorJuly 21st 2012.

Whilst generally I have little sympathy for complacent and selfish drivers who expect to be able to take their cars everywhere and park them wherever they like regardless of the law, in this case a proper sign saying 'buses only', 'access only' or 'no motor traffic' (the one with the motorbike flying over the Ford Prefect) would have been clearer, cheaper to install and more effective to prevent cars using this road if that is what the intention was.

Lots of visitors to our city will be using this road, not quite sure if they are going the right way and too distracted to solve the riddle of the 'restriction' sign. Local drivers would have more sense than to use this road as a short cut because they'd know that it is quicker to go around anyway because of the traffic lights.

AnonymousAugust 10th 2012.

This is not just happening here, take a look at Picton Road, I have yet to see a single camera actually pointing at the bus lane, they seem to be constantly pointed at several houses, while the traffic is atrocious because of the bus lanes.

Eye EyeAugust 13th 2012.

Are they pointing at ladies' bathroom windows? I read about such a case in the papers, the private security staff were found guilty.

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