Bid to get motorists off bus lanes

CAUGHT: 190 motorists have been caught parked or driving in Riccarton Rd bus lanes by the city council.

Almost 200 motorists have been ticketed for blocking the new Riccarton Rd bus lanes.

It comes as the new lanes have been ignored by motorists just over a month after they opened.

“Parking compliance are conducting bus lane enforcement on Riccarton Rd to ensure that buses can travel unhindered and arrive at their destinations on time,” city council head of transport Steffan Thomas said.

The bus lanes between Deans Ave and Harakeke St are part of the recently completed $2.57 million Riccarton Rd renewal and resurfacing works. They opened on November 1.

Of the 190 tickets handed
out since November 23, 74 motorists have been ticketed for driving in the bus lane, while 116 had received fines for parking.

The fine for driving in a bus lane for more than 50m $150, while parking in the bus lane was $60.

Mr Thomas said it would encourage compliance.

He said they were being monitored on a daily basis and it would be “ongoing.”

Red Bus chief executive Paul McNoe said the lanes are “unusable” when cars are parked.

“Because of the number of cars parked are substantial . . . it’s unavailable for its intended use,” Mr McNoe said.

“Filming or recording vehicles obstructing or using the bus lane assists enforcement officers to prove a vehicle has offended. Issuing an infringement discourages future offending,” Mr Thomas said.

“Education is an important component to keeping the bus lanes clear and this is currently being conducted as part of our one month phase to educate motorists about the bus lane rules.”

Vehicles parked in bus lanes during operational times impacted the overall efficiency of the bus network, Mr Thomas said.

More than $160,050 has been collected from people illegally using bus lanes around the city in the last year.

Last November, the city council relaunched its campaign to get motorists out of bus lanes.

“One thousand seven hundred and forty two infringements have been issued for unauthorised use of a special vehicle lane since enforcement resumed,” Mr Thomas said.