Sir Bob backs call for bus lane signs

Stephen Lawrence already had eight fines for incorrectly using the bus lanes.

Stephen Lawrence already had eight fines for incorrectly using the bus lanes.

First published in News Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

COLCHESTER MP Sir Bob Russell has backed calls for town centre bus lanes to be better signposted.

The Lib Dem has written to Rodney Bass, county councillor responsible for highways, to improve signs and road markings.

This newspaper has highlighted hundreds of unsuspecting motorists have received fines for driving up North Hill or turning right into Queen Street from the High Street.

In his letter Sir Bob said: “The on/off traffic management proposals are leading to hundreds of otherwise law-abiding motorists being caught by surprise and receiving fines over confusion.

“In light of this, I write to request you make arrangements for more obvious signs to be erected and painted on the road surface and the fines imposed on unsuspecting motorists are waived.

“Why is it necessary to have 24- hour bus lanes when buses do not operate 24-hours?

“All this negative publicity is damaging to Colchester, and causing a considerable amount of annoyance.”

Changes to the traffic system, including a car ban in the High Street, were introduced in March, but were suspended within a month.

Bus lanes were reintroduced in November, but a number of drivers have complained about confusion with the ban only advertised by temporary signs.

Stephen Lawrence, 40, a heating engineer, from Old Heath, Colchester, has received eight fines this week for using the bus lanes in early December.

He said: “The signs are the issue. People are not aware the bus lanes are back in force.

“If I had received one or two tickets promptly I might think it was my fault for not looking, but I have driven up and down there since the beginning of September and I’ve only just started getting my tickets through.”

A county council spokesman said Mr Bass would be responding to Sir Bob’s letter in due course. The spokesman added: “The traffic regulation order restrictions were reintroduced as an experiment, the consultation period for which has recently finished.

“We are reviewing the responses to the consultation and assessing the need for any alterations, and any changes required will be made at the earliest possible opportunity.

“The number and location of traffic signs installed as part of the scheme complywith the standards required.

“We welcome feedback and will consider the introduction of additional signs as part of the review of feedback received.

“We do not wish to profit from any perceived confusion and want to help the public to comply with the restrictions.

“Recipients of fines are able to contest them.”

...and he wants 1 in 4 street lights back on at night

IN a separate letter to Mr Bass, MP Sir Bob Russell has called for one in every four street lights to be switched back on in the partnight lighting scheme.

Across the borough, 70 per cent of street lights are switched off between midnight and 5am to reduce County Hall’s energy bills.

Lights in high-crime areas, town centres and accident blackspots have been kept on.

Sir Bob wants to see one in four lamp posts being kept on to provide some light while longer-term solutions are found, such as action sensitive lights or dimmer controls.

He said: “This would meet the desire to reduce energy consumption while going some way to addressing the concerns of those who feel leaving our streets in darkness is dangerous.

“I can vouch for this from personal experience when, having been out with the police until 3am in the morning, I walked home firstly from the well-lit High Street and then ventured into Maidenburgh Street which was pitch black.”

Comments (14)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:15am Tue 7 Jan 14

A Very Private Gentleman says...

Conflict of interest or Double Standards Sir Robbo, bless you my friend.

We are honoured you actually pipe and say something in the first 5 days of the new year.

Well bless my cotton socks, you are still with us and its not a hologram while they are keeping you artificially in existance in a hyperbaric chamber.

For F**K sake friend the town presided over some of the worst S**T last year and you did and said nothing.

Please go back to the way you where 30 years ago?

Stuff bus lanes and street lights and get on with the real issues.

You got your bl***dy knighthood.

SIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Conflict of interest or Double Standards Sir Robbo, bless you my friend. We are honoured you actually pipe and say something in the first 5 days of the new year. Well bless my cotton socks, you are still with us and its not a hologram while they are keeping you artificially in existance in a hyperbaric chamber. For F**K sake friend the town presided over some of the worst S**T last year and you did and said nothing. Please go back to the way you where 30 years ago? Stuff bus lanes and street lights and get on with the real issues. You got your bl***dy knighthood. SIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A Very Private Gentleman
  • Score: 7

8:49am Tue 7 Jan 14

AngryManNewTown says...

It would not be the same without a BAND wagon for Sir B to jump on (late as normal or is it because he has got a ticket also)!!!

CBC is run by HIS party (with a little help from Labour); surely it must have been HIS party that rubber stamped the re-introduction???
It would not be the same without a BAND wagon for Sir B to jump on (late as normal or is it because he has got a ticket also)!!! CBC is run by HIS party (with a little help from Labour); surely it must have been HIS party that rubber stamped the re-introduction??? AngryManNewTown
  • Score: 5

9:24am Tue 7 Jan 14

creditcrunch2010 says...

Sir Bob needs to go to Specsavers, the bus lane signage and road markings could not be clearer!.

There are only two reasons why people have picked up fines:
1) The council introduced the bus lanes, then scrapped them, then brought them back in again and people assumed they we not in operation.
2) People picked up fines through driving without due care and attention.

People seem to be able to read the small print on here but not BIG letter on the road in front of them or BIG road signs!
Sir Bob needs to go to Specsavers, the bus lane signage and road markings could not be clearer!. There are only two reasons why people have picked up fines: 1) The council introduced the bus lanes, then scrapped them, then brought them back in again and people assumed they we not in operation. 2) People picked up fines through driving without due care and attention. People seem to be able to read the small print on here but not BIG letter on the road in front of them or BIG road signs! creditcrunch2010
  • Score: 2

9:32am Tue 7 Jan 14

co2 says...

I sent sir bob this exact letter on 19/11/2013,i was referred back to my county councillor as it was outside his duristiction,i have supported sir bob and he has done a lot of good work for the people of colchester for many years,i did feel let down at the time,i am pleased he has now had a change of heart to take up the case for the people of colchester,im sure an online petition signed by 2000 people has made him re think,but had he got involved 6 weeks earlier it would have been a big help,for what its worth i never got any tickets and fortunately the 28 day deadline has passed for issuing them.


Hi sir Bob
Further to my conversation with your assistant today i would like to ask for your help in resolving the bus lane issues
going up north hill and turning right into queen street from head street.
I was not even aware of these bus lanes until a taxi driver informed me on saturday evening,i fear i may be getting tickets for driving through them at around 1.00am tuesday 12th november.
I am told that the gazette covered this but only a tiny percentage of people buy this paper so would not have known.
Why is there a need fopr a bus lane at a time when busses are not operating ?
Why is it that people coming up east hill can access queen street but those approaching from the high street can not ?
Why are there no permanent fixed signs informing people ?The tempary ones are often displaced by revellers after a night out in town.
Should essex county council not have written to every motorist in the town giving notice ?
My oldest son who is well educated and a financial services manager in banking,who has a clean license was today sickened when i informed him,he says he may have dozens of violations,like many others he was unaware of the changes.

Do we realy need 24 hour bus lanes in colchester ? Or is it as i feel all about revenue raising ?
I sent sir bob this exact letter on 19/11/2013,i was referred back to my county councillor as it was outside his duristiction,i have supported sir bob and he has done a lot of good work for the people of colchester for many years,i did feel let down at the time,i am pleased he has now had a change of heart to take up the case for the people of colchester,im sure an online petition signed by 2000 people has made him re think,but had he got involved 6 weeks earlier it would have been a big help,for what its worth i never got any tickets and fortunately the 28 day deadline has passed for issuing them. Hi sir Bob Further to my conversation with your assistant today i would like to ask for your help in resolving the bus lane issues going up north hill and turning right into queen street from head street. I was not even aware of these bus lanes until a taxi driver informed me on saturday evening,i fear i may be getting tickets for driving through them at around 1.00am tuesday 12th november. I am told that the gazette covered this but only a tiny percentage of people buy this paper so would not have known. Why is there a need fopr a bus lane at a time when busses are not operating ? Why is it that people coming up east hill can access queen street but those approaching from the high street can not ? Why are there no permanent fixed signs informing people ?The tempary ones are often displaced by revellers after a night out in town. Should essex county council not have written to every motorist in the town giving notice ? My oldest son who is well educated and a financial services manager in banking,who has a clean license was today sickened when i informed him,he says he may have dozens of violations,like many others he was unaware of the changes. Do we realy need 24 hour bus lanes in colchester ? Or is it as i feel all about revenue raising ? co2
  • Score: 5

9:38am Tue 7 Jan 14

cynicalsubber says...

AngryManNewTown wrote:
It would not be the same without a BAND wagon for Sir B to jump on (late as normal or is it because he has got a ticket also)!!!

CBC is run by HIS party (with a little help from Labour); surely it must have been HIS party that rubber stamped the re-introduction???
Um, no, the bus lanes are Essex County Council, not CBC. But don't let the facts get in the way of a good rant.
[quote][p][bold]AngryManNewTown[/bold] wrote: It would not be the same without a BAND wagon for Sir B to jump on (late as normal or is it because he has got a ticket also)!!! CBC is run by HIS party (with a little help from Labour); surely it must have been HIS party that rubber stamped the re-introduction???[/p][/quote]Um, no, the bus lanes are Essex County Council, not CBC. But don't let the facts get in the way of a good rant. cynicalsubber
  • Score: 2

9:45am Tue 7 Jan 14

Reginald47 says...

AngryManNewTown wrote:
It would not be the same without a BAND wagon for Sir B to jump on (late as normal or is it because he has got a ticket also)!!! CBC is run by HIS party (with a little help from Labour); surely it must have been HIS party that rubber stamped the re-introduction???
No actually it was't - the Borough Council were TOLD by the county council, not ASKED.
[quote][p][bold]AngryManNewTown[/bold] wrote: It would not be the same without a BAND wagon for Sir B to jump on (late as normal or is it because he has got a ticket also)!!! CBC is run by HIS party (with a little help from Labour); surely it must have been HIS party that rubber stamped the re-introduction???[/p][/quote]No actually it was't - the Borough Council were TOLD by the county council, not ASKED. Reginald47
  • Score: 3

10:03am Tue 7 Jan 14

AngryManNewTown says...

I sit corrected!!
I sit corrected!! AngryManNewTown
  • Score: 2

10:40am Tue 7 Jan 14

totallyfootball says...

Another non bandwagon issue for our self inflated ego MP, when are you going to do something worthwhile or better still jack?
Another non bandwagon issue for our self inflated ego MP, when are you going to do something worthwhile or better still jack? totallyfootball
  • Score: 6

11:30am Tue 7 Jan 14

seikothrill says...

creditcrunch2010 wrote:
Sir Bob needs to go to Specsavers, the bus lane signage and road markings could not be clearer!.

There are only two reasons why people have picked up fines:
1) The council introduced the bus lanes, then scrapped them, then brought them back in again and people assumed they we not in operation.
2) People picked up fines through driving without due care and attention.

People seem to be able to read the small print on here but not BIG letter on the road in front of them or BIG road signs!
Well said cc2010

If you cant see the signs then you are a danger and shouldn't be driving at all.

Another thing - you would think that after receiving his first, possibly second ticket Mr Lawrence would work out his driving error. Instead he has received eight and then cries to the local paper.

The majority of drivers seem to cope OK but as usual the minority make the loudest noise ad spit their dummies out.

Just PAY UP and SHUT UP
[quote][p][bold]creditcrunch2010[/bold] wrote: Sir Bob needs to go to Specsavers, the bus lane signage and road markings could not be clearer!. There are only two reasons why people have picked up fines: 1) The council introduced the bus lanes, then scrapped them, then brought them back in again and people assumed they we not in operation. 2) People picked up fines through driving without due care and attention. People seem to be able to read the small print on here but not BIG letter on the road in front of them or BIG road signs![/p][/quote]Well said cc2010 If you cant see the signs then you are a danger and shouldn't be driving at all. Another thing - you would think that after receiving his first, possibly second ticket Mr Lawrence would work out his driving error. Instead he has received eight and then cries to the local paper. The majority of drivers seem to cope OK but as usual the minority make the loudest noise ad spit their dummies out. Just PAY UP and SHUT UP seikothrill
  • Score: 0

11:30am Tue 7 Jan 14

seikothrill says...

creditcrunch2010 wrote:
Sir Bob needs to go to Specsavers, the bus lane signage and road markings could not be clearer!.

There are only two reasons why people have picked up fines:
1) The council introduced the bus lanes, then scrapped them, then brought them back in again and people assumed they we not in operation.
2) People picked up fines through driving without due care and attention.

People seem to be able to read the small print on here but not BIG letter on the road in front of them or BIG road signs!
Well said cc2010

If you cant see the signs then you are a danger and shouldn't be driving at all.

Another thing - you would think that after receiving his first, possibly second ticket Mr Lawrence would work out his driving error. Instead he has received eight and then cries to the local paper.

The majority of drivers seem to cope OK but as usual the minority make the loudest noise ad spit their dummies out.

Just PAY UP and SHUT UP
[quote][p][bold]creditcrunch2010[/bold] wrote: Sir Bob needs to go to Specsavers, the bus lane signage and road markings could not be clearer!. There are only two reasons why people have picked up fines: 1) The council introduced the bus lanes, then scrapped them, then brought them back in again and people assumed they we not in operation. 2) People picked up fines through driving without due care and attention. People seem to be able to read the small print on here but not BIG letter on the road in front of them or BIG road signs![/p][/quote]Well said cc2010 If you cant see the signs then you are a danger and shouldn't be driving at all. Another thing - you would think that after receiving his first, possibly second ticket Mr Lawrence would work out his driving error. Instead he has received eight and then cries to the local paper. The majority of drivers seem to cope OK but as usual the minority make the loudest noise ad spit their dummies out. Just PAY UP and SHUT UP seikothrill
  • Score: -2

12:51pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Red Tape 2 says...

If you read the article carefully you will see he is only now getting tickets for 'offences' they took place back in December which is why he's had so many and why it's particularly unfair.
If you read the article carefully you will see he is only now getting tickets for 'offences' they took place back in December which is why he's had so many and why it's particularly unfair. Red Tape 2
  • Score: 3

4:48pm Tue 7 Jan 14

majestic100 says...

The one question that needs to be answered in this whole sorry saga is

“Why is it necessary to have 24 - hour bus lanes when buses do not operate 24-hours?

When the buses stop then so should the bus lanes !!
The one question that needs to be answered in this whole sorry saga is “Why is it necessary to have 24 - hour bus lanes when buses do not operate 24-hours? When the buses stop then so should the bus lanes !! majestic100
  • Score: 7

3:57pm Wed 8 Jan 14

stevedawson says...

Co2 if you turned right into queen street from head street? Surely some mistake.
Co2 if you turned right into queen street from head street? Surely some mistake. stevedawson
  • Score: 0

7:43pm Wed 8 Jan 14

mirokou says...

I the words of Heartbreak Ridge .."What a clusterf**k"
I the words of Heartbreak Ridge .."What a clusterf**k" mirokou
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree