Agenda item

Decriminalisation and Civil Enforcement of Moving Traffic Offences

Local Authorities in England can now apply to the Department of Transport (DfT) for powers to enforce moving traffic offences such as banned turns; box junctions; and driving in formal cycle lanes, offences currently only enforceable by the Police. The report seeks approval to apply to the DfT for these powers so that the Council may use them to fulfil its statutory responsibilities and improve the management and safety of the road network, particularly in locations where enforcement action by officers may be deemed impractical.

The report also outlines the Council’s approach to the consideration of locations for moving traffic enforcement using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) enforcement cameras in line with the new regulations (under Part 6 the Traffic Management Act 2004) and Secretary of State Guidance.


Cllr Manda Rigby introduced the report, moved the officer recommendation and made the following statement:

“I am pleased to be proposing this motion to you today and would first like to thank the officers across Parking Services and our Traffic Management teams for their efforts in delivering these motions in time for the Government’s tranche 1 deadline in few weeks’ time.


At the end of this month new regulations come into effect which will give councils in England the powers to use ANPR cameras to enforce a range of moving traffic restrictions, which include yellow boxes; banned turns; and no entry.  Councils in London and Wales have already been using these legal powers for many years, whilst in Bath & North East Somerset as with the rest of England, we have remained reliant on the Police diverting valuable resources away from more serious crimes the actions of a small minority of motorists that feel it’s okay to ignore these restrictions are to be addressed.


Having these powers will provide a consistent approach to how we can educate motorists that make simple mistakes, or those that maybe don’t understand the restrictions across England and Wales, which is of benefit to the millions of visitors that come to see world famous heritage we have to offer.  Being able to take proactive action ourselves to engage with these motorists will increase their awareness and help protect the safety of all road users, especially the vulnerable, and help keep public transport and other traffic moving on our busy roads.


We heard from drivers during the consultation about their concerns that these powers will be used to punish motorists that make a mistake or to raise funds for the council.  We have carefully considered these concerns and I must stress that the approach that we have developed to using these new powers focusses on community engagement and motorist education.  We will always consult before cameras are installed.


Indeed, our aim is to ensure that we engineer and sign these restrictions so that cameras are not required, but in some locations, it may be necessary to use them so that we can then improve driver behaviour and compliance by contacting drivers directly with a warning notice the first time they contravene a restriction at each location for the first six months that it has cameras installed.


We must remember that these are existing restrictions that all drivers are required to comply with. 


The safety of school children and their families should always be a priority and in consultation with local communities, moving traffic powers may provide further opportunities to achieve this aim in different ways to meet a community need.


I am very pleased to move this motion, and hope that you can all support it.”


The motion was seconded by Cllr Sarah Warren who made the following statement:

“I fully support this proposal. In particular, these powers will open up the possibility of introducing school streets. These are roads outside a school with part time restrictions on motorised traffic at school drop off and pick up times, giving a healthier, safer and pleasanter environment for everyone, and encouraging our young people to travel actively and independently to school in line with our aspirations as expressed in our Journey to Net Zero plan.”


Cllr Born stated that this proposal would enable the Council to take the necessary enforcement action in residential areas to make roads safer for members of the public.


Cllr Samuel highlighted the traffic problems at the box junction at Lansdown Road/The Paragon which is often blocked and leads to congestion.  He asked members to consider the provision of a pedestrian crossing in this area.


Cllr Wood stated that the Council should also lobby the government to enable it to take on responsibility for speed enforcement.  Cllr Rigby agreed with this suggestion and stated that she would continue to lobby for this additional power.


RESOLVED (unanimously):


(1)  To approve an application to the Department for Transport by 20 May 2022 to acquire the powers to enforce moving traffic contraventions under the Traffic Management Act 2004 (TMA2004).

(2)  To approve the use of moving traffic enforcement powers using ANPR cameras from 1 June 2022 or the date when the Council receives the powers from the Secretary of State, whichever is the later.

(3)  To support and agree to the proposed approach for the use of moving traffic enforcement at proposed and future locations.

(4)  To incorporate moving traffic enforcement as a scheme into the Council’s capital programme for 2022/23, funded by revenue through income generation.  Subject to the powers being granted to the Council by the Department for Transport.

(5)  To delegate authority for the consideration of future locations for moving traffic enforcement to the Director of Place Management in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Transport.

(6)  To note a review of bus gate signage is underway at existing restrictions to ensure there is consistency across all locations and the new regulations from 31 May 2022.

Supporting documents: