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Cities join forces to get tough on bus lanes

23 May 2005

Cities join forces to get tough on bus lanes

If you’re not on a bus, bicycle or motorcycle, you shouldn’t be in bus lanes during their operating hours – that’s the message coming from Auckland and Manukau city councils as they launch their first combined bus lane education campaign today.

Advertising to alert motorists about who can use bus lanes will appear on bus backs, bus shelters and drive-time radio over the next two months. The joint campaign confirms both councils’ commitment to providing bus lanes and educating people across the region on how to use them.

“Both Auckland and Manukau are committed to bus lanes to help get more people moving around the region,” says Councillor Richard Simpson, chairperson of Auckland City’s Transport and Urban Linkages Committee.

“This campaign has important messages about bus lanes and road safety. Buses and bikes have equal rights to be in bus lanes while they’re operating. They need to watch out for each other, just as cars need to respect their right to be there.

“Cycling numbers just released for Auckland city show the number of people choosing to bike to work are increasing steadily. Buses and bikes mean there are fewer cars on the road, so we will continue to advocate for better passenger transport, cycle and motorcycle facilities,” says Mr Simpson.

The campaign reinforces the risk of a $150 fine for using a bus lane illegally, the first time this message has been used in Manukau.

“Enforcing bus lanes is new for Manukau, and we’re committed to making sure the lanes work as the laws intend them,” says Councillor Alf Filipaina, chairperson of Manukau City Council’s Transport Committee.

“Bus lanes are becoming more important as the region’s councils continue to roll them out. The rules are the same no matter where you are in Auckland. Our combined message is for motorists to learn the rules region-wide.”

The joint campaign was initiated after new national rules for bus lanes were introduced, seeing all councils across Auckland applying consistent policies, including regional standards for colouring and signage.

Bus lanes are now not legally required to be marked as clearways, meaning it’s more important than ever for motorists to check nearby signage when they park.

“It’s your responsibility to drive and park legally, anywhere in the city,” says Mr Filipaina.

When bus lanes aren’t operating, motorists can use them as regular traffic lanes. Most bus lanes operate during peak traffic periods, however motorists should always check the signs as this can vary. For example, bus lanes in Auckland’s CBD operate between 6am to 10am and 3pm and 7pm.

This is Auckland City’s fourth bus lane education campaign, however it is the first campaign combining resources with Manukau City Council to get messages about bus lanes to the public.


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