Video: How hundreds of rat-runners are STILL defying the law in Norwich bus lane

A bus uses the Brazengate route legally. Hundreds more drivers have been caught using it illegally between 7.30-9.30am. Photo: Bill Smith A bus uses the Brazengate route legally. Hundreds more drivers have been caught using it illegally between 7.30-9.30am. Photo: Bill Smith

Friday, February 14, 2014
9:49 AM

On two mornings, police caught hundreds of drivers illegally using a Norwich bus lane as a rush-hour short-cut.

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Warnings were issued and stories written. But it appears that all the efforts were in vain.

For yesterday morning, we were out at the Brazengate to see almost 200 motorists flout the law in just an hour.

Police catch more than 170 drivers in Norwich bus lane

Police catch a further 190 drivers in Norwich bus lane

The police blitz on those nipping through the bus lane, which only operates between 7.30-9.30am Monday to Friday, followed an incident where a cyclist was seriously injured in a crash involving a car.

The cyclist suffered a fractured skull on January 10 at about 9am - during the time when only buses and taxis are allowed to enter the road and onto Brazengate, near Sainsbury’s.

Following the crash and complaints from people in the area, on Monday police caught 174 drivers caught ignoring the no entry sign a further 191 on Wednesday.

Police said all 365 motorists would be written to with a notice of intended prosecution.

Yesterday, between 8.18am and 9.18am we spotted 188 banned vehicles pass through the bus lane with 20 taxis and 11 buses - both of which are permitted to - as well as 34 cyclists and one mobility scooter.

Most of the vehicles which flouted the warning signs came straight over the mini roundabout on Grove Road rather than turning right, as they are supposed to, which would take them out onto Hall Road.

A 55-year-old woman, who did not want to be named, but who has lived on Victoria Street for five years, said: “I’m not surprised at all - people pay no attention at all to the signs. If we have the bus gate and the signs are there people should abide by the signage whether its necessary or not but that’s something that needs to be looked at by traffic management people.”

Chris Higgins, landlord of the Trafford Arms pub on Grove Road, said: “In no way do I condone anyone breaking the law but I wonder about what it’s supposed to achieve.”

Earlier this week, roads policing officer PC Bob Warrent said: “It is very disappointing that after so many drivers were caught on Monday and a considerable amount of publicity, even more drivers ignored the restriction on Wednesday.

“Using this route as a short-cut in the mornings is not acceptable – the restrictions are in place for a reason, are clearly signposted and thanks to traditional and social media are well known about, so there is no excuse for any driver.

“Motorists who flout the no entry signs are putting pedestrians and cyclists at risk and our patrols in this area will continue.”

• Have you got a crime story? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

51 comments

  • Scania- Might i point out to you that you are an over educated Muppet!

    Report this comment

    dave123

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • The 'bus lane' is only 100 yards in length (From the sign to the junction) and only in operation for 2 hours in the morning Monday-Friday. I once, after dropping kids off at school, went this way to Sainsburys not thinking about what the time was (9:20am) as this is my direct route to Sainsburys. I always go this way to Sainsburys though not usually that early so it was an easy mistake to make. I'm not saying that it's excusable but it is easy to forget when you are used to driving that way out of the 'bus lane' time frame.

    Report this comment

    doublebubble009

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • "Easy pickings for police". I love those people who honestly believe that the fines etc somehow end up in the police slushfund for their Xmas party. The police are stamping down on these drivers as a result of complaints and more importantly because of a very serious accident involving a cyclist. Now, I know some of you contributors here HATE cyclists and perhaps are the kind who will harass them (like the bus driver did to my 15yr old son a few weeks ago) but they have a right to share the road with us car drivers. Insofar as the question of why so many drivers are using this rd as a rat run? Is it something to do with a fundemental flaw in the layout? Err...nope....Id say its because these drivers have got away with it for so long that they now think its their devine right to use the short cut. The "go out and catch REAL criminals" argument is lame and often used by the imbecile driver as some sort of clever comeback to the police. Fact is, dont drive inconsiderately speed etc and then you wont receive a fine or points. Personally I hope that every one of those drivers is given a fine and points.

    Report this comment

    Tootyfrooty

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • It is good to see law-breakers being caught.Perhaps soon the attention will be turned to the cyclists who rampage round the city streets without lights, ignoring traffic lights, riding on the pathway etc etc

    Report this comment

    David Arnold

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • Monkeynuts my apologies I was confusing the road tax with your "counsel tax". Is this the same tax as you would pay if you live in a counsel hos.

    Report this comment

    Grumpy Stumpy

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • Why not just remove the signs and let car drive down there, problem solved

    Report this comment

    Blocked User

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • "The cyclists of Norwich are nothing short of a menace". If cyclists are a menace what does that make motorists? How many do we see constantly flouting the speed limit or using their phones. Say what you like about cyclists, but unlike motorists they are a fraction as dangerous. "cycling on pavements is ILLEGAL!" Well technical its not, under the age of 16 and its totally legal. What is 100% "ILLEGAL" is blocking the pavement, something literally 1000s of motorists do every day in Norwich with little to no consideration for anyone but themselves. It amazes me how an article on illegal driving that has resulted in injury can become an anti cycling issue - well done guys, keep up the good work, you never fail to disappoint.

    Report this comment

    monkeynuts

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • "SHOULD I SAY WHEN THEY PAY SOME ROAD TAX THEY HAVE." Its interesting because road tax does not pay anymore to the road system anymore than another tax does. In fact if you want to get pedantic, counsel tax is the primary funder for roads at a local level. And the hallowed road tax everyone talks about is infact a tax on CO2. Might surprises some to learn that there are over 2million cars that are in effect road tax free. But don't let the little facts get in the way of a rant or two. Wheres the fun in that ?

    Report this comment

    monkeynuts

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • "These bus lanes are nothing short of ridiculous, look at Dereham Rd, thousands of motorists trapped every morning for the sake of a couple of half empty buses." Use them then.

    Report this comment

    monkeynuts

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • Easy pickings for the Police

    Report this comment

    Derek McDonald

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • All the Police achieve is bumping up there records, this is a stupid restriction as is the bus lanes that for buses only 24 hours a day, what buses run at night?, the idea is to keep traffic moving, how many of those caught were using mobile phones or not wearing seat belts?

    Report this comment

    Derek McDonald

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • Firstly as I'm sure all will agree its always a travesty when any cyclist, pedestrian or car driver is involved and hurt in a motoring incident . How ever I travel along the Ipswich Road into the city every day of the week, not taking the bus route as a short cut I might add. My daily observations around the Ipswich Road, Grove Road areas are this. On a daily basis I have to run the gauntlet of Teenage kids running in front of my car to go to the CNS school as no person would ever want to protect these by placing a pelican crossing in an appropriate area to allow the children to cross the road safely as this would hold up the traffic into the city and cause congestion. Then I approach the College area where I'm met with various students swaggering their way across the road, they look at you as if they are playing Grand Theft Auto and this 2 ton car coming towards me wont really hurt!!.The students that ride there bicycles and mopeds and drive their cars into the college grounds abide by a completely different highway code to the rest of us. As if this isn't enough I am then met near the city by flabby office dwellers in their far too tight lycra riding their Bromptons to the office to keep fit (and then have two pints at dinner time).These guys and girls bump up and down the path, ride along the path, travel up the road the wrong way, weave in and out the cars etc So all in all is it a wonder there's accidents, these cannot all be blamed on a bus routes or the motorist taking a sneaky shortcut. But as per usual the police will go for the easy target and forget about the collective groups that may make people take a shortcut.

    Report this comment

    Grumpy Stumpy

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • Strange! - I thought they were talking about cars in a bus-lane, what have cyclists got to to with it? Granted, there are a 'lot' of idiot cyclists!

    Report this comment

    biglingers

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • "monkeynuts, how do I get my goods vehicle on the bus?" how many of the "thousands of motorists" that block the roads each day technically need to? Sure you might have a legitimate reason to drive - we all do from time to time, but do most of the single occupancy cars that cause congestion each morning all over the city need to do so? If you believe they are trapped they are trapped by nothing more than their own selfishness.

    Report this comment

    monkeynuts

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • Can Norwich police explain to me why they wanted and did, make the Newmarket road bus lane a 24 hour system. To that person who made that decision, how many buses did you count between the hours of 2300 and 0630? What was the real reason for this decision. At two in the morning there are no buses so why would you want this restriction? what exactly is its purpose? not really expecting an answer but then perhaps somebody with an ounce of logic and common sense mightwill be able to furnish me and no doubt many others, with an answer.

    Report this comment

    patrick

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • The authorities get money for bus lanes etcetera, so it bus lanes we must have, now whether they work or not or whether they cause absolute chaos for most people as in Dereham road, its immaterial.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • Sorry but between 7:30 & 9:30 there is a big red no entry sign on display just before this bus lane. If you can't see that then A) You need glasses and B) You shouldn't be driving. You've broken the law end of story, no sympathy from me i'm afraid.

    Report this comment

    nobbly1

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • Just think if they had a bus lane on the NDR? How many comments would get posted on this website? If you could find away of getting the NCFC armchair managers involved it would meltdown the whole WWW!

    Report this comment

    NigelS

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • Horace Wimp you know what they say park the car then you too can ride the bus lane. I am not sure how well sign posted the Brazengate Bus Lane is. It is a family joke that I once absent mindedly drove through this, though what I was doing there at that time of the day is beyond me. I drive to Hall Road now as a matter of course. With this publicity I can resume using Brazengate.

    Report this comment

    George Ezekial

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • monkeynuts, how do I get my goods vehicle on the bus?

    Report this comment

    Unemployed and Luvin it.

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • patrick - there are no cars on the road either at these times, so it's not an issue to the motorists whatsoever. They do not need an extra lane. Would be really good for more bus services down Newmarket Road (continuing to Whymondham X N&N Hospital) in the evening, but guess there is no demand.

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • Anyone stupid enough to ignore the signs deserves everything they get. In fact they I hope they catch thousands it will help offset the NCC budget deficit. If you don't like the rules don't play the game. Everyone is equally entitled to use the roads and everyone is equally responsible to abide by the law. Idiot cyclists, moron drivers, stupid pedestrians, I wish the authorities would make more effort to catch and fine them all!

    Report this comment

    Cyril the Canary

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • There's a simple way to deal with this. Fit rising bollards, like Cambridge.

    Report this comment

    Nick South

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • The majority of Norwich's bus lanes are an utter waste of public time and money. The only thing they achieve is more congestion and sadly more localized air pollution.

    Report this comment

    C C

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • If you can't read or choose to ignore the sign then you deserve everything thats coming your way in regards to a fine and points. I would imagine if there was a trench dug across the road car drivers would still drive down the road.. either put a full time camera there to catch the idiots or put these Hi-tech raise and lower bollards that can only be operated by buses within the 2 hour period. Yet again don't do the crime and you won't be fined.. thicko's !!! half these cyclists deserve to be splattered and car drivers who take risks at traffic lights and junctions deserve to be splattered by a 40 ton lorry.

    Report this comment

    Footyboy16

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • Of course you never see a car, bus, van, lorry jumping a red oh no, no, no. Most notably only this morning I saw someone doing just this and had the gall to have a "baby on board" sign in their rear window but I suppose they do pay "road tax" so that's alright then. It's interesting that some of the posts mentioning cycling always flag up RLJing as a major gripe (because it's illegal) but in the same breath try to justify another law being broken (bus lanes) with the same flimsy self justifications that a cyclist might use for jumping a red ("I don't see the point", "It's not hurting anyone" etc).

    Report this comment

    frank young

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • Don't know why the local authority don't mount a video camera to catch these ignorant, selfish people. It would pay for itself within a week. Why not put one up at the bus lane between West Earlham & Bowthorpe which is also abused. And the 'Buses Only' sign down Riverside at Wherry Road must be the most pointless sign in Norwich because that's ignored by stupid car drivers on average about every 30 seconds. Go down there and watch if you don't believe me. An enforcement camera down there would make a fortune every day! The people moaning about all these restrictions are usually the same people who whinge when they get parking tickets or speeding fines. The message is simple. These rules are for good reasons and are set by people far more intelligent than those who ignore them. Abide by the rules and you won't get fined. I have absolutely no sympathy for those who are punished because they're too lazy to read the Highway Code.

    Report this comment

    Scania

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • Monkeynuts my apologies I was confusing the road tax with your "counsel tax". Is this the same tax as you would pay if you live in a counsel hos.

    Report this comment

    Grumpy Stumpy

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • I agree with Monkeynuts this appears to have turned into a witch hunt for cyclists. The cyclists have as much right to use the roads, speed and jump red lights as much as car users. OR SHOULD I SAY WHEN THEY PAY SOME ROAD TAX THEY HAVE.

    Report this comment

    Grumpy Stumpy

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • As for the motorists in this article, crush their cars into a cube and charge them for it. So sick and tired of selfish old grumpy motorists in this city.

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • "......restrictions are in place for a reason." Maybe the reason should be re-examined. Situations change and clearly there is a demand for this route into the city centre as people try and get to work. Because this is a very short stretch of bus route I am sure that de restricting it would benefit more people than it does currently.

    Report this comment

    la barbe

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • "More roads the motorist has to pay for yet can not use." take the bus or ride a bike you entitled cretin.

    Report this comment

    monkeynuts

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • It just go to show how stupid this restriction is. It does nothing to improve general traffic flow - it fact it hinders traffic flow and it is obvious by your news reports that this road needs to be open to all, at all times. Although there is little chance now that the police have found a new revenue stream!

    Report this comment

    Norfolk John

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • That's a lot of £50 fines!

    Report this comment

    ParkandRide

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • The 'bus lane' is only 100 yards in length (From the sign to the junction) and only in operation for 2 hours in the morning Monday-Friday. I once, after dropping kids off at school, went this way to Sainsburys not thinking about what the time was (9:20am) as this is my direct route to Sainsburys. I always go this way to Sainsburys though not usually that early so it was an easy mistake to make. I'm not saying that it's excusable but it is easy to forget when you are used to driving that way out of the 'bus lane' time frame.

    Report this comment

    doublebubble009

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • Patrick - you are barking up the wrong tree. The Police have no say in where bus lanes or any other road infrastructure are placed; the question of necessity is one for the Local Authority. It is also a myth that the Police get any of the income from the fines. If they have served notices of intended prosecution most drivers will get points and a fine which goes straight to the courts. I would prefer the police to spend their time elsewhere, but laws need to be enforced. Perhaps the best solution is the rising bollards as suggested below or something that means this can be stopped without the need for policing. Until that is achieved, such levels of offending need a police response.

    Report this comment

    Ellie

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • David Arnold you are spot on. The cyclists of Norwich are nothing short of a menace. Might I point out to them that the Highway Code also applies to cyclists as much as it does to motorists and that cycling on pavements is ILLEGAL! So is cycling through red lights believe it or not!

    Report this comment

    Scania

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • @ nobbly1 - Life unfortunately is a bit more complicated than that. If you have a traffic scheme that goes against common sense is it little wonder so many motorists are being caught out. There used to be two schemes in Yarmouth that regularly caught out motorists. One was a timed restriction on North bound traffic on Southtown Road and the other was restricted use of Regent Street. They used to catch people out time and time again. Both were engineered out. If there is the will, there is a way to sort these schemes out. Ticketing is not the answer.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • @Nigel. I loved your comment about the armchair NCFC Managers,,,,:-)

    Report this comment

    Tootyfrooty

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • It is good to see law-breakers being caught.Perhaps soon the attention will be turned to the cyclists who rampage round the city streets without lights, ignoring traffic lights, riding on the pathway etc etc

    Report this comment

    David Arnold

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • I agree with Monkeynuts this appears to have turned into a witch hunt for cyclists. The cyclists have as much right to use the roads, speed and jump red lights as much as car users. OR SHOULD I SAY WHEN THEY PAY SOME ROAD TAX THEY HAVE.

    Report this comment

    Grumpy Stumpy

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • These bus lanes are nothing short of ridiculous, look at Dereham Rd, thousands of motorists trapped every morning for the sake of a couple of half empty buses.

    Report this comment

    Unemployed and Luvin it.

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • Ticketing motorists wholesale like this is just addressing the symptom not the cause. The penny doesn`t seem to have dropped yet with the Police and Highways that there is something fundamentally wrong with this particular traffic scheme. Why else would so many people get caught out, day in day out. They need to put more effort in finding a permanent solution rather than issuing a bundle of tickets. Surely someone in either the Police or Highways can come up with a better solution than this.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • Power to the police.These ignorant and selfish motorists need dealing with with a firm hand.Hit their pockets,or licences. And yes I am a motorist,of nearly 50 years.

    Report this comment

    santa

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • @BG sorry I disagree.... It's breaking the law fair and square. It is just like those people who run red lights etc. The road scheme in question has been there for years now and it is obviously there for a reason. You i've seen so many near misses at that junction because of drivers flouting that law. If you run a no entry sign don't expect to be let of lightly. I purposefully go the long way around if i need to go into the city at that time of the morning. I mean why risking 3 points on your licence and £100 fine? That'll mean higher insurance for starters.

    Report this comment

    nobbly1

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • Power to the police.These ignorant and selfish motorists need dealing with with a firm hand.Hit their pockets,or licences. And yes I am a motorist,of nearly 50 years.

    Report this comment

    santa

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • "The cyclists of Norwich are nothing short of a menace". If cyclists are a menace what does that make motorists? How many do we see constantly flouting the speed limit or using their phones. Say what you like about cyclists, but unlike motorists they are a fraction as dangerous. "cycling on pavements is ILLEGAL!" Well technical its not, under the age of 16 and its totally legal. What is 100% "ILLEGAL" is blocking the pavement, something literally 1000s of motorists do every day in Norwich with little to no consideration for anyone but themselves. It amazes me how an article on illegal driving that has resulted in injury can become an anti cycling issue - well done guys, keep up the good work, you never fail to disappoint.

    Report this comment

    monkeynuts

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • Meanwhile Business premises are being Burgled in Dereham every week. Norfolk Police should put there resources into stopping Burglary and Theft first! To difficult i guess!

    Report this comment

    dave123

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • More roads the motorist has to pay for yet can not use.

    Report this comment

    KeithS

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • dave 123: You should perhaps put more resources into correct grammar and spelling I suspect........

    Report this comment

    Scania

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • I read that headline on the home page as 'fat runners' - really must save for new glasses!

    Report this comment

    Thoreauwasright

    Friday, February 14, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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