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BUS LANE BULLETIN


Bus lane access is currently a nationwide topic, here are the views from one particular region, accompanied by some excellent points made by local representatives.


SOUTHAMPTON (BUS LANES, BUS-ONLY STREETS AND BUS GATES) ORDER 2021


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT SOUTHAMPTON CITY COUNCIL made the above Order on 4th August 2021. The effects of the Order are:


1. To restrict the use of bus lanes and bus gates within the city by non-Southampton City Council licenced Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles. Non-Southampton City Council licenced Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles would only be permitted to use the bus lanes and bus gates Monday to Friday between the hours of 7am – 9:30am and 4pm – 6:30pm provided the vehicle was first registered on or after 1st September 2015 for diesel vehicles (reflecting the introduction of Euro 6b emission standards) or, on or after 1st January 2006 for petrol vehicles (reflecting the introduction of Euro 4 emission standards). Note: this only applies to those bus lanes and bus gates which taxis and private hire are currently permitted to use, and following the consultation process a minor modification has been made to the order to allow use of the bus lanes and bus-only streets by adapted vehicles being used for home to school contracts, where the costs of replacing an existing vehicle with a compliant one may be substantive, subject to an application and approval process.


The Order comes into operation on 1st September 2021. Copies of the Order, relevant map and statements of reasons will be emailed or posted on request or can be inspected on Wednesdays and Fridays 9am – 4pm at the Southampton and Fareham Legal Services Partnership in the Civic Centre, Southampton SO14 7LY. Further infor- mation may also be obtained from the Highways division on 023 8079 8021. Any person wishing to question the validity of the Order or any of its provisions, on the grounds that it is not within the powers of the relevant enabling Act, or that a require- ment of any such enabling Act or of any relevant regulations made thereunder has not been complied with, may, within 6 weeks from the date of the Order, make application for this purpose to the High Court.


Richard Ivory, Solicitor Dated: 6th August 2021 Service Director: Legal and Business Operations Southampton and Fareham Legal Services Partnership


42


RESPONSE FROM STEPHEN LUCAS, EASTLEIGH TAXI DRIVER


FOR THE ATTENTION OF THE HIGHWAYS LEGAL TEAM


My name is Stephen Lucas, I have worked as an Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC) taxi driver for 25 years and I have also been consistently elected as a Hackney Representative at EBC for over 15 years. In that time I have always tried to approach trade issues fairly with an appreciation of both sides. I have always looked positively for a way forward for all concerned. Over the past three years I have attended all the Southampton City Council (SCC) CAZ meetings. At these meetings we have listened to the CAZ team and Councillors, such as Cllr Leggett, giving EBC representatives the impression that Southampton and EBC were in a CAZ partnership. Both SCC and EBC Trade Reps were fully behind the council’s efforts to reduce the city centre’s carbon emissions imparting all the knowledge that we received to the trade. After the publication of this order I have not come across one EBC driver, both HC and PH, who does not feel let down and treated like a second class citizen. The main statement I face on a day to day basis is: ‘partnership, what partnership?’ The reasons why I currently feel SCC should not exclude EBC taxis and PHVs from the city centre bus lanes are:


1) Borough Shape


EBC is a banana-shaped borough geographically surrounding most of SCC, which due to this unusual shape means that a very large proportion of taxi and PH trips start and end in either borough. This results in many vehicles using the time saving empty bus lanes to transfer customers, quickly around the centre of the city. If the use of these bus lanes was stopped, many thousands of journeys a year would be extended in time, adding to the pollution within the city centre. Surely this is the opposite of what any CAZ initiative is aiming to achieve. Furthermore due to EBC’s shape and proximity we would have no alternative to increasing these daily commutes for the thousands of visitors in and around the city.


2) Southampton Airport This does not include the immense number of visitors that EBC vehicles transfer from Southampton Airport (situated, yes that is right, in our borough). These visitors will not appreciate the CAZ advantage of sitting unnecessarily in extended queues.


3) School Runs Another very important issue I feel has not been addressed is the hundreds of EBC vehicles using the city centre bus


SEPTEMBER 2021


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