Should Councils Be Given Traffic Enforcement Powers?

council parking enforcement


Should Councils Be Given Traffic Enforcement Powers?


Currently, the enforcement of minor traffic offences lies within the remit of the police, but these powers are under review.

Councils around the UK may soon be following councils in London by having the ability to penalise drivers for minor offences.

Violations that the council could fine you for are:

  • waiting in box junctions
  • driving in cycle lanes
  • driving in the wrong direction on one-way streets


The fines for these offences are £130.

The money generated from the fines will fund traffic-reducing measures.

Local councils in London already use cameras to issue more than a million £130 penalty notices every year.


Political Impetus


Junior Transport Minister Baroness Vere revealed that the Government are looking into giving councils enforcement powers under the 2004 Traffic Management Act.

Lib Dem peer Lord Bradshaw asked Ministers if they planned to extend powers in the Transport Management Act 2004 (section 6) to authorities outside London..

Baroness Vere replied:

“We are giving thought to the role these powers could play in helping councils to deliver their transport recovery plans.”


Council Response


The Local Government Association, says they need the powers because police have “largely ceased to enforce moving traffic offences”.

The move comes shortly after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced a £2 billion package to boost cycling and walking infrastructure.

Pop-up cycle lanes and wider pavements are part of the plan to support double the number of people cycling and walking to work by 2025.

Since civil parking enforcement become the responsibility of local councils, they have become an abundant source of revenue.

In 2018–19, councils turned over £1.746 billion from their parking operations so this increase in power and revenue will be a welcome addition.




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