Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Bus Lane Camera

A new camera has popped on Whiteladies Road. Discreetly grey, with a bit of yellow on the back. It appears set up to catch cars going down the bus lane here. Presumably this will stop FirstBus buses being delayed on their morning journey into town, and reduce their need to run over bicycles.

Assuming, of course, that the problem is moving traffic in the way. Because a single day's study of the lane implies that camera or no, most car drivers aren't going to go down this lane. Why not? Parked cars in the way. The lane is bus-bike-taxi-motorbike only in the mornings, parking rest of day, so the lane is marked out with parking spaces. Which acts a cue: you can park here.

Here, at 08:50 on a weekday morning we see a volvo

A *ticketed* Ford Escort

And this VW Polo, which has pulled over to take a phone call. For this we must praise them. It is clear from these photos that there are no buses in sight -hence none being held up- and bikes can slide past without having to change into the other lane.

Why then, the camera? What it could be used for is to detect parked cars. If it counts vehicles going past, and that number is zero, there are cars parked down the lane so the attendance of Bristol Parking Services is required. Except, how can you distinguish "zero vehicles cars in the way" from "zero vehicles firstbus 'light' schedule". You can't, can you?

3 comments:

James Barlow said...

It's called "Watchman".

Chris Hutt said...

You were way ahead of field on that one James. That's what comes of reading the committee reports.

Anonymous said...

If you subscribe to the council's News Direct it tells you about proposals and about the public consultations so you get advanced notice of (Some!) things.

Here's the info on the watchman on Whiteladies Road from June 2008 -
http://www.bristol.gov.uk/ccm/cms-service/stream/asset/?asset_id=26120041

Hope it helps,
Martin McD