EYMS calling for action on parking in Hull's bus lanes
A BUS firm says traffic wardens need to get tough on motorists who park irresponsibly in bus lanes.
Hull's big two bus companies, EYMS and Stagecoach, have already asked Hull City Council to ban any vehicle, except taxis, from using the bus lanes from 7am to 7pm.
But Bob Rackley, commercial manager at EYMS, believes further measures by the local authority are needed.
He said: "Part of the reason for buses being delayed is because cars and vans park in bus lanes.
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"Clearly, there is little point making bus lanes just for use by buses from 7am to 7pm if our vehicles are held up by cars and vans parked in them.
"So we need action to be taken against those drivers."
At the moment, three main bus lanes in Hull – in Beverley Road, Holderness Road and Anlaby Road – are restricted to buses only at rush hour.
Last month, when the bus companies put the request to council road chiefs, it was claimed motorists regularly ignored the rules and drove in bus lanes during prohibited hours.
However, motorists have contacted the Mail to criticise the firms and question the need for the hours to be extended.
David Buckell, of Preston, said: "I can't understand why EYMS wants to keep the bus lanes clear of cars.
"I can't see a problem because on my daily use of the roads around Hull, car drivers don't use the lanes outside of the given times.
"Either they don't know the rules or just can't be bothered and are prepared to sit in long lines of traffic when the left-hand lane is empty."
David Fenwick, of Burstwick, said: "All cities need good public transport policies but continually prioritising one over the other is not good policy."
But Mr Rackley, whose firm is calling for cameras to catch those who flout the rules, insists making the lanes exclusive to buses during the day is the best way to increase efficiency and encourage more people to ditch the car.
It is understood Hull City Council officers plan to visit Nottingham, where cameras have been installed and are now self-funding from fines given to motorists.
Mr Rackley said: "Our proposal is as much about parking control as it is about extending the hours of the bus lanes. It's clear we need to be targeting those drivers who choose to park in bus lanes, too.
"Often, traffic, including buses, has to pull into the outside lane because cars or vans are parked there. We regularly see it."
According to EYMS, Holderness Road in east Hull is one of the problem areas.
Mr Rackley said: "We accept there needs to be some compromise – vans, for instance, will need to be able to offload deliveries to shops."
Graham Hall, assistant head of service for asset and transport management at Hull City Council, has said he is looking at the "possibility of additional bus priorities".