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Exclusive: London-style red routes may replace bus lanes

And how straying Liverpool drivers coughed up £6m fines in five years

Written by . Published on September 24th 2013.

Exclusive: London-style red routes may replace bus lanes

LIVERPOOL'S disappearing bus lanes could be replaced with London-style red routes, with motorists facing stiff penalties for stopping their cars for a second. 

It is one of the proposals being actively considered as part of Mayor Joe Anderson’s plan to remove all of Liverpool’s 24 buses lanes for a nine-month long experiment. 

First (Joe Anderson) visits a local park and sees it isn’t used very much, so decides to sell it. Then he drives past a bus lane and sees it isn’t used very much, so decides to scrap them all'

It comes in the wake of new figures* which reveal Liverpool drivers coughed up almost £6 million for straying into a handful of bus lanes between 2009 and now. 

Most of the penalties came from the few city routes with enforcement cameras to capture wrongdoers. 

Yet despite the decision to scrap the bus lanes, a move that could become permanent next year, there will be no amnesty for drivers already caught on cameras. Offenders have been told collection of penalties will continue, with debt enforcement if necessary.

Meanwhile, the area managing director of Arriva has written to all 90 city councillors after Mayor Joe's announcement that bus lanes would be scrapped, complaining of a “lack of consultation” (Full letter in link at the end of this piece.

If a decision is made to restore all or some of the bus lanes after the trial period, the council is also considering HOV lanes. These allow high occupancy vehicles, such as cars with passengers, to use exclusive lanes.

Car-DollEvery cloud

In some places this has led to an increase in sales of blow-up dolls, placed in passenger seats to give the impression of loaded vehicles.

The introduction of red routes would ban cars stopping for even a second. These are popular on major routes into London to keep traffic moving.

Although there is a short red route on the approach to Liverpool John Lennon Airport, the wide use of these would be new to Liverpool.

Near the Peel-owned airport it was introduced by the council to deter those motorists wishing to avoid sky high parking charges from dropping off passengers close to the entrance.

Because of the lengthy legal process for both red and HOV routes, the city council will be seeking permission from the Department for Transport concurrent with the bus lane closure trial. This will enable red routes to be brought in quickly if that is the solution to gridlock problems.

Img_RedrouteGreen councillor John Coyne is unhappy with the decision to scrap bus lanes and plans to delay the experiment by calling in the Mayor’s proposal.

Under council procedures, the call-in ability could be overridden, and as the council cabinet meets this Friday to give the final decision, it is hard to see the scheme being delayed at this stage.

Said Cllr Coyne: “Scrapping bus lanes is a bad idea, a backward step in a world which is seeing cities looking at sustainable public transport arrangements.

“What I find scary is we are seeing decision making on the whim of the Mayor. First he visits a local park (the Meadowlands) and sees it isn’t used very much, so decides to sell it.

“Then he drives past a bus lane and sees it isn’t used very much, so decides to scrap them all. It seems a strange way to run a city.”

He added: “What we need is a smarter way of using cars. Scrapping of the bus lanes will not remove the peak town congestion by creating more road space. It will merely create more cars to take up the extra space.”

High Occupancy VehicleHigh Occupancy Vehicle lanesMayor Anderson believes bus lanes are not working as they ought to. Despite their introduction bus usage is going down year by year. In 2005, 82 percent of public transport journeys in Merseyside were made by bus, and within four years it was down to 78 percent  At the same time passenger levels on Merseyrail have increased by 50 percent.

It will cost the city council £50,000 to remove the bus lane signs and mask the bus lane signage in roadways.

*Compiled for the council’s Transport and Climate Change Committee, which meets on Wednesday (Sept 25)

*Read the full letter from Arriva Area Managing Director John Farrall here

Bus Lane In Liverpool
Don't stop till you get enough: How those bus lane fines in Liverpool stack up

2009/10: £470,773

2010/11 £2,147,963

2011/12 £1,518,354

2012/13 £1,026,278

2013/14 £760,000 

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

Road RunnerSeptember 24th 2013.

There are in excess of 10,000,000 people in London, in Liverpool considerably less. Liverpool's traffic problems fade into insignificance compared to other major cities in the UK. Why make a song and dance about a problem that comes with the territory, get those who are paid to deal with the problem, to deal with it. This is not rocket science, politicians would be best advised to steer clear of a subject, they know little or nothing about.

1 Response: Reply To This...
The Pedants RevoltSeptember 24th 2013.

"Considerably FEWER" FFS

Road RunnerSeptember 25th 2013.

It's likely that there could even be another less/fewer.

AnonymousSeptember 25th 2013.

So there is a red route by the airport with no purpose other than to help generate revinue for a private business? shame on whoever came up with that nasty little idea, presumably on that day the council forgot they are elected by the people to govern for their benefit?

7 Responses: Reply To This...
scouse690September 25th 2013.

Read below....a RED ROUTE comprises of DOUBLE RED LINES (sometimes combined together into one thick line)....at the side of the the road....not single yellow...or even double yellow!!!

scouse690September 25th 2013.

I think you are getting confused with the Bus Lanes ?????

scouse690September 25th 2013.

It sorts out those people, that take the piddle about stopping on single and double yellow lines., for hours, ......it will work wonders on Smithdown Road, especially!!!

scouse690September 25th 2013.

If the Council (whoever they may be) , want to "claw in" money, from illegal parking, Smithdown Road is a Prime Candidate....and Yet...NO Traffic Wardens, are ever seen???

scouse690September 25th 2013.

Back Handers??? Corruption, that needs sorting out!!....JOE ANDERSON, get MOVING!!

scouse690September 25th 2013.

BTW....Who is our "Crime Commissioner?" Anyone know???

The Pedants RevoltOctober 29th 2013.

Jane Kennedy.

scouse690September 25th 2013.

Red routes are not confined to Inner London, they DO actually expand all the way out, to Outer London...NORTH, South ,East and West....e.g, North London is AKA ..."Luton"!!! You ARE WRONG, RR and ANON....you obviously do not travel, by car, down to the Southern regions!!

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 30th 2013.

I'm not wrong, I based what I said on the info in the article. And travel to the south has nowt to do with the airports redroute.

scouse690September 25th 2013.

DOH!!!! A RED ROUTE is double red lines, where no stopping is allowed, whatsoever!! .

scouse690September 25th 2013.

The reason that people have stopped using buses, is that it costs £2+, to go one stop , or 15 stops!! And that is "one way!!" This one "fee" system, per trip, needs to be reappraised! BUT HEY!!!, it is "we the tax payers", who have to foot the bill....and STILL have to pay, if we decide not to use the car! No discounts for us!!

Road RunnerSeptember 26th 2013.

On the contrary young lady, I speak as one who has worked the length and breadth of the UK, and have been doing so from 1965. Luton is not or has ever been part of London, it is more likely to be part of Bengal or Donegal.

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleySeptember 26th 2013.

or one of the inner circles of hell.

Road RunnerOctober 29th 2013.

Are you going to be stopping at Birkenhead Woodside?

SpokesmanOctober 30th 2013.

If Joe is so keen to ease congestion, why doesn’t he just get rid of all those pointless road-narrowing obstacles that have been unaccountably put in in recent years? All those jagged bits of unlit, unpainted pavement sticking five or six feet out onto the road seem designed only to kill cyclists. They wouldn’t have this nonsense in New York or Shanghai.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 30th 2013.

I ran into one of these road narrowing obstacles in my car. The whole wheel was destroyed, I can imagine what the outcome would be if it were a bike.

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