Reading Borough Council is set to be one of the first councils outside of London to apply for moving traffic offence enforcement powers, following new regulations released by the Government.
The council has launched a consultation asking for people's views on the enforcement of the offences which it says would "help increase road safety and reduce congestion and poor air quality".
Secondary legislation which is set to come into effect in June this year will allow councils to apply for moving traffic enforcement powers under Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004. It will mark the first time that local authorities outside of London can apply for the powers.
Reading announced it is planning to use the powers to improve safety and tackle congestion by enforcing moving traffic offences, such as:
- driving through a 'No Entry' sign;
- turning left or right when instructed not to do so (making banned turns);
- entering yellow box junctions when the exit is not clear;
- driving where and when motor vehicles are prohibited;
- driving on routes that are for buses and taxis only.
It added that it envisaged enforcement on a number of existing yellow box junctions across the town which it said are regularly blocked by motorists, causing congestion and poor air quality.
An application will be made to the Department for Transport and the consultation responses will be considered over the summer before a final decision is made, the council stated.
Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Councillor for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said: “The council has lobbied for many years for local authorities outside of London to be given these powers, in order to be able to take action against people who break the Highway Code through illegal manoeuvres, causing delays and inconvenience for others."
Cllr Page added: "In Reading we have a particular issue with people blocking key yellow box junctions at strategic locations, which can have a massive knock-on effect for other road users. This includes adding to poor air quality and putting cyclists and pedestrians in danger, as well as the obvious inconvenience of delays for all road users.
“The council is considering these powers as an additional tool to help reduce poor air quality from transport related emissions, as we work towards our new zero carbon target in 2030."
In 2019, the Local Government Association conducted a survey of officers responsible for traffic management at 65 different councils in England which found that 91% of councils would consider using the powers.