Watch out - another bus lane due to open in Preston

Tithebarn Street and Lord Street (down the side of the Guild Hall) will soon be for buses and black cabs only.
Tithebarn Street and Lord Street (down the side of the Guild Hall) will soon be for buses and black cabs only.

Preston is to get another city centre bus lane, complete with enforcement cameras.

County Hall is poised to turn a section of Tithebarn Street and Lord Street into a no-go area for vehicles, with only buses, cycles and black cabs allowed to use it.

A new “experimental” traffic order comes into force tomorrow for 18 months - although the bus lane is not expected to be operational for a few weeks due to roadworks which are currently underway.

The road restrictions will cover Tithebarn Street from its junction with Old Vicarage to where it meets Lord Street. From there the bus lane will continue down Lord Street to its junction with Lancaster Road.

As with the controversial bus lane in Fishergate - which has netted the county council an estimated £2m in “fines” since it was first introduced in October 2016 - unauthorised users will be hit with a £60 penalty (£30 if paid within 14 days).

“Tithebarn Street has been closed for improvement work, so it’s the right time to introduce this bus lane when the road re-opens,” explained Coun Keith Iddon, LCC’s highways spokesman.

“We should be re-opening the road in the next few weeks, and we’ll let people know in advance. Enforcement helps to discourage misuse.

"We’re happy if we don’t make a penny from our bus lanes, as it means that people are doing the right thing.”

A camera is also being installed to monitor misuse of the nearby coach station. The bus lane is designed to help pedestrians to cross Tithebarn Street to access the bus station and the new public open space in front of it.

The infamous Fishergate bus lane has been netting thousands of errant drivers a month since it was first introduced in 2016.

The ‘fines’ have boosted County Hall’s coffers by an estimated £2m over the past three-and-a-half years.

The authority has also been coining it in from a second bus lane off the Broughton Bypass. And only recently LCC announced it would now be enforcing bus lanes on Fishergate Hill and further up Fishergate to stop misuse by traffic.

The Tithebarn/Lord Street bus lane is expected to go live in a matter of weeks.