We’ve seen from AT’s board reports in recent months that they’re starting to use CCTV for a wide array of purposes. This includes analysis such as counting pedestrians, vehicles in bike lanes / blocking intersections / stopped on level crossings / red light running and to measure speeds. Last year they also started using CCTV to permanently enforce part of the Fanshawe St bus lane. Now they’re rolling it out to more bus lanes:
More bus lanes in central Auckland are being monitored 24 hours a day.
Auckland Transport has installed CCTV cameras in bus lanes on Queen Street, Hobson Street and Khyber Pass Road. There are already CCTV cameras monitoring enforcement on Fanshawe Street.
John Strawbridge, Group Manager Parking Services and Compliance says the cameras have leading edge, purpose built analytics. “They generate an alert so we don’t need to have an enforcement officer set up on the street with a mobile camera. The CCTV footage is then reviewed by an experienced staff member who makes the decision about whether an infringement should be issued.”
When CCTV was introduced on Fanshawe Street in July last year (2017) there was an initial jump in the number of infringements issued but now infringements are back to similar levels as before CCTV.
John Strawbridge says this is about freeing up bus lanes for buses. “A bus can move around 70 people, it’s much more efficient than clogging the roads with cars. The lane on Fanshawe Street currently carries more than 5,000 people during the morning peak hour, compared to approximately 1800 people in cars in the other two lanes.”
The key benefits of using CCTV to remotely monitor bus lanes are:
- the lanes can be monitored 24 hours, 7 days,
- one officer can monitor multiple lanes,
- eliminates health and safety risks for staff who would normally need to stand on the road side for hours.
Bus lanes are for buses, motorcycles, scooters and cyclists. Other vehicles can enter the bus lane to turn left up to 50 metres before turning.
The infringement fee for driving illegally in a bus lane is $150, this fee is set by central government not Auckland Transport.
This is good and exactly what we wanted to see when the Fanshawe St changes were announced. Keeping bus (and bike) lanes clear is critical to ensuring they work as intended and so enforcement is essential.
From what I’ve seen on Queen St, cars are routinely ignoring the bus lanes when enforcement isn’t active and so this should hopefully make a positive difference.
Hopefully we’ll see CCTV used on other bus lanes in the future too