Liverpool Council to get new powers to tackle traffic issues

Liverpool Council has been granted new powers to clamp down on problem drivers across the city.

The local authority has an obligation to ensure traffic in the city is kept moving and can do so safely. After a change by government earlier this year, the council’s cabinet will accept new powers to punish those who flout moving traffic restrictions.

This includes waiting too long at yellow box junctions, banned turns and misuse of bus gates. Those found in contravention of the rules could face a fixed penalty charge notice (PCN).

According to a new report ahead of the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the council will only consider enforcement of traffic restrictions where it would help improve road safety, quality and accessibility of public transport, benefit the environment or manage the traffic network to ensure efficient movement of traffic and tackle congestion. Powers granted previously solely to London to enforce moving vehicle contraventions were extended to Liverpool.

This was previously only the responsibility of the police.

The report said, “The council will take a fair but robust approach to moving traffic enforcement. The aim is to encourage compliance to make roads safer, reduce congestion and to assist with the safe and efficient movement of buses.”

Enforcement of moving traffic will be undertaken by a parking officer through CCTV or an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera. Traffic signs and road markings associated with highway restrictions will be reviewed and enhanced to make sure they are clear and visible. 

Vegetation will be cut back, and site lines kept clear so that road users can clearly see the restriction in force as they approach it. Camera enforcement schemes will only be taken forward at locations where road users continue to fail to comply with the restrictions, despite these enhancements.

One of the major issues to be monitored by the new powers is management of yellow box junctions. The report said, “Enforcement of yellow box junctions is sensitive and often contested. 

“To promote compliance at all times, Liverpool Council will issue a PCN to any vehicle that stops with two wheels or more in a yellow box junction for a period of three seconds or more.”

During the first six months following implementation of moving traffic enforcement in practice, Liverpool Council will issue warning notices for first-time moving traffic contraventions. The warning notice will advise that any further moving traffic contravention at the same camera location would result in the issuing of a PCN. 

The penalty charge for moving vehicle contraventions will be in accordance with legislation, currently set at £70, reducing to £35 for motorists who pay within 21 days of the date of issue. Charges will be reviewed and updated in accordance with the council’s own policy and any future increases proposed nationally.

Image: Josh Hild

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