By Richard Wright

Friday, January 25, 2008



The South Street section of the red carpet. Picture by ROBIN CROSSLEY.

POLICE are investigating Newport’s town centre bus lane Red Carpet after it was revealed it is not legal — and hasn’t been for nearly three years.

After the previous IslandFirst IW Council administration rolled out the red carpet on a temporary traffic order it was never made permanent by the current Tory administration.

In their manifesto Conservatives pledged to review the future of the carpet but it remains in place.

Central to police inquiries is whether, because it is no longer covered by a traffic order, other vehicles are able to use the bus lane in addition to public transport and cycles.

Southern Vectis operations manager Marc Morgan Huws said: “We have been expecting the IW Council to bring forward its Newport traffic plan for some time now. We have our own, deep, concerns about traffic reversal in Trafalgar Road.

“The bus lane and Trafalgar Road were done on temporary orders, which have the advantage from the council’s point of view that there was no proper debate where businesses, the public and residents could be consulted.

“We can continue to use the bus lane but my understanding is that there is nothing to prevent other vehicles using it too.”

IW Council director of environment and neighbourhoods Stuart Love said: “The Newport traffic model has been commissioned to look at the issues faced in and around the county town.

“Decisions about Trafalgar Road should be made in that wider context. We will have to go through a process of making the traffic orders permanent.

“The temporary traffic order designating the bus lane has lapsed. We are currently considering options in respect of this lane and are discussing the position with the police.”

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