North East Lincolnshire Council’s portfolio holder for environment and transport has today (Monday 8 March) granted approval to remove the Scartho Road bus lane permanently.
The decision for a permanent Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) follows the trial which started in December 2019, with the introduction of an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) to monitor the impact a removal would have and allow for a period of formal objections to be received.
No formal objections have been received and transport officials have reviewed the data and seen the aim of the removal has been met, with increased traffic flow and improved vehicle journey times, particularly during peak hours.
Alongside the bus lane removal, a Traffic Signal Priority (TSP) project has been delivered at the junction of Scartho Road, Forsythia Drive and Cragston Avenue. TSP improves bus punctuality by giving buses that are running late a green light at traffic lights in certain circumstances during peak times. This introduction aims to mitigate the impact of the bus lane removal on bus services during peak times.
Councillor Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for environment and transport, said: “We’re making this removal permanent following a thorough review of the data over the course of the last year and after receiving no formal objections.
“Residents and ward councillors have expressed concerns about the impact the bus lane had previously on traffic congestion and journey times. I was committed to addressing this issue, working with our highway officials at ENGIE, and we have been able to trial the removal through an ETRO and see in real terms the impact the removal has.
“The impact of COVID-19 has been considered in this decision and we are confident that the removal will see improved traffic flow and better journey times, once traffic levels increase.
“We have considered the impact on local public transport services and have also introduced a traffic signal priority system to ensure bus services can keep to their timetables as much as possible during peak times.”
Following the portfolio holder approval, the traffic team will now finalise the TRO process and seal the order. The permanent TRO will come into force in the coming weeks.