City bus lane to get full time surveillance
Twenty-four-hour CCTV monitoring of busy bus lanes on central Auckland’s Fanshawe St is being introduced with the aim of speeding the commutes of thousands.
Auckland Transport spokesperson Mark Hannan said enforcement officers on the side of Fanshawe St would be replaced by 24-hour CCTV surveillance on Monday.
Until now, enforcement officers with a mobile camera on the footpath had been monitoring the bus lane.
Hannan said 687 infringement tickets were issued over the past 12 months to motorists who had used the lanes.
‘‘We are monitoring the street using CCTV but the final decision on whether or not an infringement will be issued still lies with a real person.’’
AA spokesperson Barney Irvine said the Fanshawe St bus corridor was one of the most important on the network connecting public transport users to the Northern busway, and he was ‘‘pretty comfortable’’ with the move.
‘‘If it’s going to work it needs to be enforced.’’
Matt Lowrie, of public transport advocacy group Greater Auckland, said cars at the intersection of Halsey St and Fanshawe St often spilled onto bus lanes during peak hours.
‘‘Fanshawe Street is probably the busiest bus corridor in Auckland.
‘‘Any time there’s a car that gets stuck in the bus lane it slows down all those thousands of people for the expense of one person.’’
Hannan said 5000 people moved through Fanshawe Street on buses during the morning peak hour every day compared to 1800 on cars.
Cars tended to move into lanes when enforcement officers were not present, Lowrie said, an issue that affected more bus lanes than just Fanshawe Street’s and he said he would like to see the measure extended to bus lanes on Dominion Rd, Symonds St and Mt Eden Rd.
‘‘We can save some money as well because we’re not having to put extra buses on to cope with the congested roads.’’
Irvine said he wouldn’t be opposed to the expansion of CCTV cameras on such routes provided enforcement was ‘‘done well and done fairly’’ but that data on the effectiveness of the lanes needed to be ‘‘proactively shared’’ by Auckland Transport with the public.
‘‘We need to check we are getting the benefits out of these that we were told we’d get.’’
CCTV cameras will monitor bus lanes on Fanshawe Street from Monday.