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Have your say on new powers for moving traffic offences

Parking, roads and transport

07 November 2022

North Northamptonshire Council logo

People are being asked for their views on a proposal for North Northamptonshire Council to be able to enforce traffic offences involving moving vehicles.

The Department for Transport has changed legislation to enable councils to apply for the powers to enforce against moving traffic contraventions, which are currently held by the Police.

This would allow enforcement to be done using ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) cameras.

Benefits include improving safety for pedestrians and cyclists as well as reducing congestion, which would in turn help improve air quality.

We have always been able to set many of the traffic regulations locally, but now we are able to use our local knowledge to direct enforcement where it is most needed; at the same time freeing up police resources. 

Quite often, significant congestion in our towns and elsewhere can be caused by what might seem like a minor offence, but, as we all know, it can have a major impact on road safety, journey times and air pollution.

As the authority with responsibility for highways, acquiring these powers will give us the flexibility to enforce where we know it will make the biggest difference – freeing up junctions and making life better where HGVs ignore weight restrictions.
Cllr Graham Lawman, the Council’s Executive Member for Highways, Travel and Assets
A free-moving highways network is important in so many ways and being able to facilitate this ambition makes sense. We need to manage the road network effectively to ensure we maximise safety and efficiency.Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of the Council

Offences that are covered are varied and include:

  • ignoring no entry or no turning signs
  • entering yellow box junctions with no clear exit
  • stopping on school keep clears
  • driving where and when motor vehicles are prohibited, including heavy goods vehicles
  • driving the wrong way up one-way streets or driving on routes for buses and taxis only

The new enforcement powers would apply across North Northamptonshire and add to the powers the council already has to address dangerous or illegal parking, and bus lane contravention.

Additionally, if the proposal was to go ahead, the council has identified some specific sites for which the powers would be of benefit.

Included are these yellow box junctions that get repeatedly blocked which then prevents traffic from entering the main road even when they are on a green light. This then causes tailbacks and delays. The sites are:

  • Kettering – London Road/St Mary’s Road
  • Kettering – London Road/Bowling Green Road
  • Rushden – High Street/Church Street
  • Rushden – Newton Road/Rectory Road

The consultation will close at midnight on Sunday, December 18.

Next steps

The council will use information gathered in the consultation to inform an application to the Department for Transport.

Before a decision is made the council would also need the proposals to be approved by its Executive.

Any future additional enforcement proposals would require their own separate public engagement before they could be implemented.