Camera enforcement at yellow box junctions in central Cardiff appears to have caused a major reduction in obstructions, and bus services are beginning to benefit, Transport Network can reveal.
The city council is the first authority in Britain, outside London, to take up a full suite of powers to penalise Moving Traffic Offences (MTOs). It began to issue Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) last November to drivers illegally blocking two key junctions, either side of Cardiff Central station.
One of the two junctions in Cardiff where cameras are used
Latest figures from the council reveal that 54 PCNs were issued for this offence in July, almost half of the 104 issued in June. In May, 290 PCNs were issued and 745 in April.
One of the main aims of the MTO scheme is to improve the speed and reliability of buses. The authority has been penalising unauthorised use of bus lanes since December 2014.
Cardiff Bus, the city’s main bus operator, has noticed some improvement in traffic flow at the two yellow box junctions concerned. Commercial manager Gareth Stevens said the enforcement had helped to stabilise journey times through the junctions, where previously journey times during the peaks were erratic.
‘We would want to see much more of it,’ he said. ‘We’ve got buses looping around the city centre. They cross quite a lot of junctions. It’s important that they [the junctions] are kept clear, to make sure there are consistent journey times.’
Transport Network understands that the authority is preparing for a wider deployment of cameras to problem spots across the city, possibly as early as next month.
The Welsh Government has given all unitary authorities in Wales the option of establishing MTO schemes.
Many English authorities enforce bus lanes and councils outside London have called for many years for permission to enforce other locations such as yellow box junctions.
In March, the Transport Select Committee rejected the Department for Transport’s claim that there is little support for handing the powers over and even added they find it ‘difficult to understand the minister’s unwillingness to consider it’.