AT least one driver every minute is breaking the law by using High Wycombe's bus lane, a Bucks Free Press survey has revealed.

Our study has shown that motorists are cutting into the bus lane in London Road to avoid queuing traffic if they are turning left – which is causing danger for people who are correctly turning from the middle of the road.

The survey was carried out on Tuesday for 15 minutes from 8.50am outside the Disraeli public house and later at 5.30pm at Chestnut Avenue.

In the morning, 14 cars used the bus lane and 17 were seen using it at rush hour. The traffic management section at Buckinghamshire County Council said: "It is an offence for drivers of all motor vehicles except buses to use the bus lane at the times of operation, as you have reported, and as it appears that abuse is increasing then we will pass on your comments to the police and request enforcement of the restriction."

The bus lane has been operating for more than six years and there has been two slight injury accidents at the Chestnut Avenue junction in the last three years.

One of them was caused by the illegal use of the bus lane by a motorcyclist, said the council.

PC Darren Mitchell, from the traffic police, said: "That is quite a significant number (of drivers using the bus lane). It is quite dangerous and people probably look for a bus, not a low car, when they are turning. It is something we will look at."

But former High Wycombe mayor Jim Tanner added: "What good will informing the police do? They, unlike Reading, will not station a police officer at the area of the bus lanes and stop and arrest any motorist that does it. If they did the local courts would be bogged down."

Cllr David Fieldhouse, (Con, Terriers and Amersham Hill) said: "Police do not have the manpower to do these things. What they have to do is make an example. I am not in favour of the bus lanes for the inconvenience it causes for everything else."

But a spokesman for Arriva bus company said: "If they are enforced, buses can run to time. We would ask for other road users to respect the lanes. Anything that increases the priority for buses is a good thing."

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