A COUNTY Durham road plagued by safety concerns is set to see an official bus lane installed with cameras to monitor offenders.

A section of Cornforth Lane in Coxhoe, near Ferryhill, is being converted into a 'bus gate' in a bid to reduce concerns around a nearby primary school.

Durham County Council has since confirmed the date the cameras will be switched on as it has said offenders will face a fine of £60, discounted to £30 if paid within two weeks.

It comes as the council last year installed a bus lane at Quarryheads Lane which caused controversy after more than 8,000 people were caught in its first month alone.

Read more: Bus lane in Durham slammed after council issues 8,000 fines in first month

But explaining the decision to create the bus lane in the village, the council said restrictions limiting entry to buses have been in place for a number of years.

Until now, residents were not permitted to enter Cornforth Lane when coming from the roundabout on the A177, but that was not actively enforced.

Instead of a physical bus lane, signs previously advised motorists that all vehicles except buses were not permitted to use the section of road. 

The Northern Echo:

The new bus lane will be located just off the roundabout near School Avenue Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

Dave Wafer, head of transport and contract services at Durham County Council, said: “A restriction limiting entry to buses has been in place at Cornforth Lane for many years.

"However, we are now introducing a bus gate with an approved camera device to help enforce these restrictions and alleviate safety concerns around the school.

“Advanced warning signs will be placed in the area from next week ahead of the camera being activated on May 24.

"Drivers who do not comply with the new restrictions will be issued with a £60 fine, but this will be discounted to £30 if paid within the first fourteen days.”

The Northern Echo:

Contractors could be seen working on the new bus lane this week Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

To avoid receiving a fine once the cameras are switched on, motorists entering Cornforth Lane will need to travel along the A177 before turning left towards Station Road West.

As the bus lane has also been installed on the same stretch of road in the opposite direction, motorists will have to rely on Sanderson Street and Station Road to exit.

But the introduction of the bus lane has divided opinion as some have said they believe it has been installed in order to generate funds.

One person who lives near the new bus lane said: "I live just up from it and think it's shocking.

"I hate cars coming through, but I think this is a bad idea and it's only there to make more money for council."

Meanwhile others have welcomed the new measures if it will avoid future accidents from taking place on the section of road.

One resident, who said he had witnessed incidents in the area, said: "If you lived at the bus gate few doors up you would see why it is a good idea.

"It will be a inconvenience for the school run I get that, but for the other 22 hours of the day people are racing through there, especially on the weekend (where there are) lots of motorcycles racing through," he added.