Over 450 cautionary notices have been dispatched to vehicle proprietors subsequent to the initiation of CCTV surveillance on two bus gates in Sunderland.
The cameras are at the bus-only sections of Dene Street, Silksworth, and Brancepeth Road, Washington. They went ‘live’ at 0001hrs on Monday 24 July.
Footage from the cameras is reviewed by the City Council and contraventions of the traffic restrictions can lead to a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) of £70.
There has been a ‘grace period’ since they were switched on and vehicle owners observed contravening the regulations have been receiving a warning notice.
The Silksworth camera has generated 317 warning notices issued to vehicle owners in the first ten days of operation.
The Washington camera has generated 137 warning notices issued to vehicle owners in the first ten days of operation.
Enforcement at both bus gates is now scheduled to begin from midnight on Sunday 13 August.
The cameras are the first ‘buses only’ enforcement cameras to be used by Sunderland City Council under national legislation. Councils across the country have been adopting enforcement powers to issue fines (Penalty Charge Notices) to vehicles that break traffic restrictions, such as driving in bus lanes and through bus gate restrictions.
The £70 PCN can be discounted to £35 if paid within 21 days or alternatively, the driver may appeal against the proposed PCN.
A third camera is due to be installed in Holmeside in Sunderland city centre later this year. This camera will only go live when a wider regeneration scheme is complete.
Both locations have had restrictions for several years – the Traffic Regulation order (TRO) for Silksworth was introduced by the City Council in 2018 and the Washington restriction dates back to 2012.
Income generated by traffic enforcement PCNs from cameras can only be used for further works on highways, public transport and environmental projects.
As with parking restrictions, if a driver disagrees with the notice an appeals process is in place. Full details are included on notices issued to vehicle owners.
The new enforcement does not cover speeding offences monitored by cameras which remain with Northumbria Police and the Northumbria Safer Roads Initiative (NSRI).