March 31, 2004
Motorists were on the lookout ten years ago as Kingston Council installed seven cameras in bus lanes to speed up public transport and snare drivers using them illegally.
From the beginning of May, drivers caught parking in or using the lanes faced a £100 fine as the council got tough on traffic offences.
At the time, bus lanes in Kingston Road, Cambridge Road, London Road, Penrhyn Road, Clarence Street and Eden Street were not monitored by cameras.
Tony Adams, of Kingston Area Travellers’ Association (KATA) welcomed the move.
He said: “I am very pleased that they are doing this after so long. There’s been virtually no enforcement of the bus lanes since they were introduced a few years ago.
“I just hope somebody is actually watching the cameras and making sure the fines are sent out.”
Mr Adams added KATA would like to see bus lane operating times standardised to avoid the confusion at the time about when they were enforced.
He said the association wanted them to operate 24 hours a day.
Transport chiefs insisted they had no figures for how much revenue the cameras were expected to generate, but a council spokesman said the figure was not expected to exceed the cameras’ operating costs.
Each camera costs £20,000 and they have been funded with a grant from Transport for London (TfL). The borough may have to employ extra part-time camera operators to staff the new network.
The cameras are operated from Kingston’s CCTV control room and, when the bus lanes were not in effect, were supposed to boost crime fighting.
Motoring organisations like the RAC also support bus lane cameras as a way of making public transport more efficient.
Kingston’s main bus operator, London United, welcomed the move. It had won operator of the year at the London Transport Awards that year.
March 21, 1964 The Surrey Comet’s reporting of a public inquiry into Kingston’s master plan 50 years ago was praised by A N Mundy of Surrey County Council.
He said: “The reporting of this inquiry has been in the highest tradition of local press reporting for which all who have taken part in this inquiry must surely be grateful.”
March 23, 1989 Mothers and toddlers were taking “ludicrous” detours around the Coombe Road bridge, which overturned countless juggernauts and decapitated numerous buses, the Comet reported 25 years ago.
Kingston Council agreed to parents’ plans for pavement improvements at the bridge, which would cut out a mile of extra walking time.
March 31, 2004 Chessington South train station was hit by a wave of graffiti ten years ago, leaving residents fuming.
Blue tags ran from one end of the platform to the other and the tracks were littered with rubbish.
Residents said the station, which was due an overhaul, had become a favourite haunt for youngsters at night.
Actress Jerry Hall joins dignitaries at a Kingston Theatre Trust charity auction which raised £50,000.