Bus lane change on major Nottingham route to 24 hours could catch people out

A bus lane on a major route by Nottingham City Hospital will be enforced 24 hours per day, and most people in the area are happy about it. But despite new signs in place saying that the lane is for buses ‘at all times’, it will not be enforced until later in the month.

Nottingham City Council has been improving Hucknall Road since September 2021, where a bus and cycle lane heading south from the junction with Arnold Road to the roundabout with Valley Road has been widened. A stepped cycle lane has been put in place heading out of the city too.

Work on improving this stretch of road is nearly complete; some roadworks could still be seen midway up Hucknall Road. The bus lane heading into the city was only in effect from certain times, but signage now says it is in effect 24 hours a day.

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However the City Council has said this will not be enforced until later in the month, so motorists can get used to the new rules without picking up a fine. And the switch to a 24 hour bus lane has mostly been backed by people in the area.

Most think it’s a good idea, saying they think it will make bus services more efficient and be safer for other transport users, such as cyclists and those that use e-scooters.

Dave Thomas, 69, who’s runs the Nottingham Volunteer Centre, said: “It’s probably a good idea, and that’s because when I was driving more, I once got a fine down Hucknall Road for driving in the bus lane during the time it was active. But with it being 24 hours, I won’t forget that and won’t do that again.

“It gets buses through more quickly too. I don’t drive very often now, but now I’d know never to drive in that lane.”

Linda Stokes, 72, who’s retired and was attending City Hospital, said: “Walking down the hill now, it seems a lot quieter. The flow of traffic seems to be not so congested, and it looks a lot better around here too.”

A general view of Hucknall Road by Nottingham City Hospital
A general view of Hucknall Road by Nottingham City Hospital

Vach Ponda, 36, who works at City Hospital, said: “It is a good idea because nowadays people are using more e-scooters. It’s helpful for them because it decreases the risk of accidents.”

Daniel Gregory, 28, who’s unemployed, said: “I’m not a driver myself, but I do use the bus and I think this will be a good thing as long as there are enough drivers. I know at least 3 people that have been caught out by the change and think they are expecting a fine though.”

But one is worried it will make traffic “horrendous”.

Hayley Marraott, 43, a housekeeper from Bakersfield, said: “I think the traffic is going to be horrendous. There are going to be hundreds of fines.”

A City Council spokesperson said: “We have consulted and communicated widely about this improvement scheme which has introduced better pavements, cycle lanes and bus priority along Hucknall Road.

“The bus lane won’t become 24 hours until later this month and so the signage in place will hopefully get motorists used to the change before it goes live and becomes enforceable at all times. We’ll be introducing some extra temporary signs soon to further raise awareness and help motorists adapt to the changes.”