An influential group of MPs has backed one of the core transport asks of English local government - granting local authorities the power to enforce against moving traffic offences.
The cross-party Transport Select Committee has 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’.
Town halls have said for years they want ministers to implement Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004, allowing them to tackle moving traffic offences such as enforcing cycle lanes and cracking down on illegal U-turns and box junction offences
The main lobby group for councils, the Local Government Association (LGA), has called for the powers to be handed down to councils as they have been in London, and Wales, where the devolved government has said they are available on request.
Local government chiefs suggested the Government has ‘concerns that some councils may misuse such powers to raise revenue’, adding that they have written to ministers with proposals that address these concerns.
A draft policy document currently being circulated within the LGA argues the powers would give ‘local areas the ability to deal more effectively with congestion, air quality, and road safety hotspots as well as enforcement of weight restrictions’.
The Transport Committee states: ‘Granting local authorities the power to enforce against moving traffic offences makes sense. It allows enforcement to take place even where roads police numbers are in decline and it provides valuable local accountability.’
It adds that it also recommends that government consider the case for allowing ‘additional moving traffic offences to be subject to civil enforcement in London’.