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Darlington driving instructors want to end bus lane confusion
DRIVING instructors in Darlington say they have been unfairly targeted by other motorists, as a result of confusion over the use of part-time bus lanes.
Members of the Darlington Driving Instructors’ Federation (DDIF) say they have been abused by drivers who mistakenly believe they are using a bus lane on North Road.
The bus lane is a part-time measure, designed to keep public transport moving during the morning and afternoon rush hours.
This means that driving instructors are free to use the lanes outside of the designated times while out on lessons with students.
However, this does not seem to have registered with some of their fellow road users, leading to angry skirmishes between motorists, believing they are in the right, shouting abuse at instructors.
The federation has more than 20 members, all with their own experiences of the North Road bus lanes.
Geoff Railton, an experienced instructor and member of DDIF, said: “It is causing problems.
“The bus lanes are in use between 8am and 9.30am, then again in the evenings.
“We are going into them outside of those times, as you would expect, and we are getting abuse from people.
“Very few drivers use the bus lanes when they are not in use, including police cars and vans.
“There have been a few near misses in terms of accidents.
“We have discussed it a few times at our meetings and decided to try and raise awareness of this issue.
“One of our members has had someone shouting abuse over this and she was even reported for being in a bus lane, even though it was a legitimate time.
“On the face of it, this may seem trivial to some people, a minor issue perhaps, but there is confusion and if we can do something to reduce that, then so much the better.
“We drive in the bus lanes at the correct times and, at the moment, it seems as though very few other people do.”
DDIF is aiming to reduce the amount of confusion regarding bus lanes on Darlington’s roads.
Its chairman, Robert Smith, has set up a website – buslanes.info – which sets out where bus lanes are in Darlington, which are in operation 24 hours a day and which are part-time.
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