Medway Council is urging the small band of motorists that put pedestrians at risk by driving through Chatham’s bus station to please stop, after new figures show more than 90 a day are doing this.

The bus station and Waterfront Way, which both opened last October, are ringed by 15 warning signs, as well as road markings stating they are for local buses, taxis and bicycles only.

But some motorists are using them as a shortcut, causing a danger to the 60,000 bus passengers a week that walk through there, including children.

When the bus station and Waterfront Way opened, the council operated a four-week long amnesty for those filmed by CCTV driving through them – warning people that while they had not been fined that time, they will be in the future.

Police were also on call for the first few days and the council has pro-actively publicised the fact that people should not drive through the bus station or Waterfront Way – an extension to the bus station lined with stops on either side – because of the potential danger to bus users.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras (ANPR) were put in place on 16 April this year and between then and 9 May, 2,238 fines have been issued – or an average of more than 90 a day.

Medway Council does not wish to issue another fine and actually wants people to just stop driving through the bus station and Waterfront Way instead.

And now it is investigating to see if there are any repeat offenders so it can contact them and ask them to stop.

In addition to 15 road signs, the council has also put in place traffic calming islands and new road markings around the bus station and Waterfront Way.

There is also a new slip road at the end of Medway Street so that any motorists that miss the three wide warning signs on double posts they will have passed can turn around and head back the way they came without facing a fine.

Robin Cooper, Director of Regeneration, Community and Culture, said: “When the bus station opened last year, it was clearly marked with signs stating that it should not be driven through by anyone other than those behind the wheel of a bus or taxi.

“To let local residents get used to this, we had a month long amnesty and wrote to anyone that drove through to say that they had not been fined, but will be in the future.

“A small number of motorists continue to drive through the bus station and our figures show that since we put ANPR cameras in place on 19 April an average of around 90 car and van drivers a day are still continuing to do so, which is quite shocking.

“We would ask drivers – including these 90 a day – to think of the safety of the 60,000 pedestrians that use the bus station each week and stop doing this.

“To put it simply, we would be happy if we never had to issue another fine as that would mean that no car or van driver is putting bus users, which include children, at risk in the bus station.

“If people do continue to do this, they will get a fine. We shall now be investigating these figures to see if there are any persistent offenders and shall contact them to ask that they stop putting others at risk by dangerously driving through the bus station.”

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