New road powers granted to council

They might be a bit touchy if you mention it but B&NES is being given new powers to enforce traffic restrictions which, some might say, opens up a new revenue stream.

Having said that – the better you drive – the less money they will make.

Bath & North East Somerset Council says the new powers will help make roads safer and tackle congestion.

From Friday 15 July the council will become one of only twelve local authorities in England, outside of London, to be given the right to enforce moving traffic restrictions, such as yellow box junctions, banned turns and driving in formal cycle lanes.

These are civil enforcement powers, granted by the Government, which B&NES says will help make roads safer and tackle congestion.

The council undertook a public consultation in the spring where residents and stakeholders were asked for their views on the use of these powers at five initial locations where restrictions are often contravened. The consultations included a series of drop-in information sessions and a webinar.

Councillor Manda Rigby, cabinet member for Transport, said: “We’re pleased that our application was approved, and we can now make our roads even safer for users.  

“When road users ignore restrictions, it not only poses a real danger to others but can also create congestion, so I welcome the Government’s decision to change the regulations to allow civil enforcement locally. 

“It’s important to stress that this not about raising revenue, it’s about educating drivers, changing behaviours and improving road safety for everyone. We’re giving road users time to adjust to these changes so for the first six months at each location we enforce, we’ll be educating motorists and reminding them of the need to comply with the existing restriction by issuing warning notices for their first contravention at each location, rather than a penalty. 

The council will be enforcing restrictions with ANPR cameras at the following initial locations, they are expected to go live later this summer:

  • Charles St/Monmouth Street, Bath – Yellow box and banned turn
  • George Street/Gay Street, Bath – Banned turn
  • Brook Road, Bath – Commercial vehicle weight restriction
  • Newbridge Road/Newbridge Hill, Bath – Banned turn
  • High Street/Bath Hill/Temple Street, Keynsham – Banned right turn

Bath Newseum notes the changes and suggests a camera – at the junction of London Road with the old Gloucester Road – would discourage drivers from jumping red lights and increase safety.