Council seeking powers to enforce traffic restrictions in Oxfordshire

Public asked for their views on locations of cameras

Cameras could be fitted around locations in Oxfordshire to enforce traffic restrictions, making the streets and roads safer and less congested for all users.

Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet has voted to apply to the government for permission to use cameras to enforce traffic regulations, including stopping in yellow box junctions, illegal turns, and vehicle restrictions, at specific sites.

People who visit, live, and work in Oxfordshire can have their say on the first set of proposed locations as part of a public consultation on the plans.

Councillor Tim Bearder, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Management, said: “These new powers have been delegated by government to allow us to enforce the rules of the road more effectively, making our streets safer for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

“We are selecting a variety of sites in the initial tranche which we will enforce using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras. This means we can better manage the bus and road network, as well as promoting active traffic and clean air policies. Drivers who continue to stick to the rules will have nothing to worry about. Mopeds and motorists causing mayhem by breaching restrictions  and doing U-turns where it is dangerous will finally face a fine.”

The first proposed locations are:

  • The rising bollard site in Oriel Square, Oxford
  • The rising bollard site on Cornmarket Street, Oxford
  • The rising bollard site on Turl Street, Oxford
  • The rising bollard site on Broad Street, Oxford
  • The junction of Turl Street and High Street, Oxford
  • The banned U-turn at Barton Park on the A40
  • The junction of Holywell Street and Longwall Street, Oxford
  • New College Lane/Queens Lane, Oxford
  • The pedestrianised area of Gloucester Street, Oxford
  • Yellow box junctions on the Botley Interchange
  • Yellow box junctions on the Hinksey Hill Interchange.

These locations were selected using information provided by Thames Valley Police, plus traffic and congestion monitoring data, and will help ensure the safety of road users and minimise congestion on the network.

People can have their say on the suitability of these proposed sites for camera enforcement by taking part in the consultation at https://letstalk.oxfordshire.gov.uk/tma-2022, which runs until 2 March.

The new regulation laid out by the government this month allows councils to apply for the power to issue fines for these contraventions. It is the first time local authorities outside London and Cardiff have had the opportunity to apply for the powers to issue penalty charge notices for these types of offences, which are currently enforced by the police. The police will retain the power to enforce traffic regulations in addition to the county council’s proposed camera enforcement at the specific sites.

The purpose of the change is to enable councils to manage specific problem areas through ANPR camera enforcement – similar to how the bus gates operate – with the fines being retained by the authority to cover the maintenance and management costs.

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