Powers to enforce moving traffic offences will not be extended to local authorities in England outside London until the end of the year, a Department for Transport (DfT) minister has said.
Transport minister Rachel Maclean has on a number of occasions this year told MPs that it was 'not possible to say exactly when in 2021 the powers will be commenced'.
Last week the prime minister told MPs that 'traffic enforcement outside London can only be undertaken by the police' but did not state when this might change.
However, on Tuesday (15 June) Baroness Vere told visitors to Traffex in a keynote addresss: ‘Local authorities will need the tools to manage roads in the way that best serves local needs, which may vary in different parts of the country, and it is this ethos of localism that lies behind our decision to give more powers to local authorities under the Traffic Management Act.
A box junction in Uckfield, East Sussex
'So from December, local authorities will be able to enforce moving traffic offences, such as banned turns, box junctions and driving in formal cycle lanes. They will be expected to use these powers to improve connectivity, boost active travel, and increase air quality by reducing congestion.’
She added: ‘And to ensure this change is fair, we will publish guidance for local authorities, so they can make drivers aware that enforcement is being undertaken.’
Cllr David Renard, transport spokesperson for the Local Government Association said: 'Councils have been calling for powers to make our roads safer and less congested for all road users. Powers to enforce against moving traffic offences, such as banned turns, weight restricted roads and yellow box junctions will help to keep local roads moving and make our air cleaner.
'It is good news that councils are being given these new responsibilities and it is important that access to these powers is made as simple as possible.'
Last summer the Government pledged to implement in full Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004, which extends enforcement powers, currently held only by London authorities and some authorities in Wales.
In October the DfT’s traffic and technology team lead suggested that the powers could be extended this spring, although he pointed out that it would require secondary legislation to be fitted into the Government’s legislative programme and suggested that the timetable might slip.
Traffex runs from Tuesday 15 to Thursday 17 June alongside the British Parking Association's Parkex. Registration for both events is available here.