'MPs are calling for councils to be given more widespread powers to issue fines for traffic offences – leading to fears motorists will be treated like cash cows.
Members of the Transport Committee said the stretched police are not enforcing ‘moving traffic offences’ such as blocking box junctions and driving the wrong direction up one-way streets.
But their call for local authorities to take over these traffic powers is likely to prove unpopular with drivers, who fear councils will levy fines simply to raise money.
In London, where councils have policed box junctions for more than 15 years, there has been frequent criticism about the way fines of up to £130 for blocking the intersections are dished out.
One junction in the south of the capital, sited on the brow of a hill so drivers cannot see if their way out is clear, produced 989 penalty tickets in the 12 months to last June – nearly four for every working day. Another box junction in west London raised £2.4million in fines in 18 months.
The move to grant councils greater powers to enforce and issue penalty charges came in a report which called for a Government strategy to get more people on public transport.
MPs believe councils should have more clout to get buses moving better through busy streets.
A 2004 law gave all councils powers over parking, policing bus lanes and punishing ‘moving traffic offences’ – which also include failing to give way to oncoming traffic and driving in cycle lanes. But while parking and bus lane fines have gone into operation, secondary laws which would activate the other powers have yet to be introduced by the Government – except in London.'
Read more: Let councils issue fines for traffic offences police are too stretched to enforce, MPs say - sparking concerns motorists could be milked for cash
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