Councils to take over enforcement of traffic regulations

New law will mean more fines for motorists breaking the law

A new range of offences will now be subject to £100 fines from this April. A trial scheme is to be set up in London Boroughs including Hammersmith and Fulham, Ealing and Wandsworth with a view to extending it across the capital.

The new London Local Authorities and Transport for London Act 2003 allows boroughs and TfL to take over the enforcement of traffic regulations from the police such as blocking box junctions, ignoring no left or right turn signs, or driving the wrong way down a one way street. There will also be fixed penalty fines for people blocking footpaths and roads with items like skips and displays outside shops.

The Act aims to help make London’s roads as safe and un-congested as possible for motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and all other road users, by taking action against motorists who choose to break the law by ignoring a range of traffic regulations. From April 1 drivers breaking these laws will be fined £100. These will be reduced to £50 if they are paid within 14 days.

Six boroughs and Transport for London will pilot the fines for around nine months. They will then be reviewed and introduced across the rest of the capital.

The Act will also mean that drivers or operators who break the London Lorry Ban will receive penalty charge notices rather than being taken to court. Operators could face a £500 fine while drivers could face a £100 fine. The Ban helps reduce the unnecessary lorry movements disturbing the peace of Londoners at night and weekends.

The fines will be invested into transport schemes including improving roads, pavements, and public transport. The fines were set following consultations with motoring organisations, the police, business groups, boroughs and the Government.

Chair of the ALG’s Transport and Environment Committee and Acton based Councillor Phil Portwood said: “Motorists stopping in box junctions or driving the wrong way down a one way street need to remember they are breaking the law. These selfish acts not only add unnecessary hazards on our already busy roads, but also jeopardise the safety of other people. We feel we have set these fines at a sensible level that also deter people from breaking the law in the first place."

The increases need to be ratified by The Mayor of London and the Secretary of State for Transport. If agreed they will be implemented from April 1, 2004. The boroughs taking part in then pilot scheme are Camden, Croydon, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Newham and Wandsworth.

January 29, 2004