Londoners told to brace for ‘war on motorists’ after cash-strapped TfL is given new powers from Monday to fine motorists £160 for straying into cycle lanes or yellow box junctions and failing to give way to traffic
- Motorists face stricter enforcement from Monday morning across London
- Transport for London and local council will be able to issue moving traffic fines
- This include offences such as driving in a bike lane or blocking a yellow junction
- Officials will catch errant motorists on CCTV and fine them through the post
Motorists across London face £130 fines from Monday morning for placing a wheel in a cycle lane or edging into a box junction while in traffic.
Transport for London and locals councils have been given new powers from the Government to enforce moving traffic violations that had previously been the responsibility of the police.
TfL will use its CCTV network along the city’s Red Routes to identify motorists blocking cycle lanes, performing illegal u-turns or stopping in yellow junctions. Motorists who block roundabouts are also likely to receive fines.
London councils will also be able to use their CCTV systems to enforce violations. This could include people stopping on double yellow lines outside tube stations to drop off or collect family members.
The use of CCTV is also been expanded across England.
Motorists face a host of new fines from Monday morning in London if they stray into bus or cycle lanes or stop on a red route as Transport for London will be able to target drivers using CCTV cameras
Transport for London is in charge of the capital’s red route network. The power of policing infringements has moved from the police to TfL. London councils have also been handed similar powers for
TfL claimed the reason for the enhanced enforcement is to make cycling safer
According to official government guidance, ‘the objective of civil enforcement should be for 100 per cent compliance, with no penalty charges’.
TfL and councils will be able to fine motorists for performing illegal turns, driving into a no entry zone, driving the wrong way on a one-way street, performing illegal U-turns, stopping in a box junction, driving or stopping in a cycle lane and failing to give way to oncoming traffic.
Officials claim, that the regulations which come into force on Monday will improve the safety of cyclists.
According to TfL: ‘Most motor vehicles are already prohibited from driving within or crossing the white lines of the cycle lanes that are marked by a solid white line and cycle tracks, which until now have only been enforced by the police.’
The new powers have also been expanded to local authorities across England who can request the right to use CCTV to clamp down on traffic violations.
TfL’s Director of Compliance, Policing, Operations and Security, Siwan Hayward said: ‘We welcome the introduction of the new enforcement powers in London. Protecting designated space for cyclists is essential in keeping them safe and improving confidence to cycle.
‘We will start enforcing in key locations in London to deter drivers contravening the road rules.
‘We want to ensure a green and sustainable future for London, and to do this we must continue to make walking and cycling round our city safe and accessible to all Londoners.’
Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: ‘Making London’s streets safer is our top priority. These new enforcement powers will deter motorists from infringing on crucial space specifically designated to keep cyclists safe and will help improve cyclist’s confidence when getting around the capital.
‘Enabling more Londoners to walk and cycle continues to be at the heart of the Mayor’s vision to create a healthier, cleaner and more sustainable London for everyone – these new powers will play an important role in that.’
Tom Bogdanowicz, Senior Policy and Development Officer, London Cycling Campaign, said: ‘Vehicles driving in cycle lanes put cyclists in danger and can deter people from choosing to cycle.
A motorist dropping off a passenger at this location risks being fined for blocking a cycle lane, even if they have only pulled over for a few seconds
Tom Bogdanowicz, Senior Policy and Development Officer, London Cycling Campaign, said: ‘Vehicles driving in cycle lanes put cyclists in danger and can deter people from choosing to cycle’
‘That’s why it’s crucial that investment in cycling provision is backed up with camera enforcement, just as camera enforcement is used to keep bus lanes clear. We welcome TfL’s use of new enforcement powers do this. It will reduce road danger and further enhance the great value for money that investment in the cycling network brings.’
AA President Edmund King has urged caution on how these new laws are implemented.
He said: ‘The main concern we have is if there is, for example, a yellow box junction that is generating tens of thousands of pounds in fines every year, then there is something wrong with that junction.
‘No one drives into the junction saying they are happy to pay the fine. If a certain amount of fines are generated from a junction there should be an obligation on the local authority to review the design.’
Department for Transport guidance which covers moving traffic violations including cycle lane infringement claims ‘raising revenue should not be an objective of civil enforcement of bus lane or moving traffic contraventions, nor should authorities set targets for revenue’.
The government also claims that penalty charges should be ‘proportionae’ and not set at ‘unreasonable levels’.