County Council gets powers to use cameras to enforce traffic restrictions

County Council gets powers to use cameras to enforce traffic restrictions. Image: The rising bollard site on Broad Street in Oxford
Oxfordshire County Council has obtained powers to use cameras to enforce traffic regulations and vehicle restrictions. Image: The rising bollard site on Broad Street in Oxford

Oxfordshire County Council has obtained powers from the Government to use cameras to enforce traffic regulations, including stopping in yellow box junctions, illegal turns, and vehicle restrictions. The Council was among the first to get the new powers from the Government.

Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras will be fitted around specific locations in Oxfordshire to improve safety, ease congestion and reduce inconsiderate and dangerous driving.

According to the Council, there was broad support for cameras to be installed at the following locations following a public consultation that took place earlier this year:

  • 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 sites were selected using the information provided by Thames Valley Police, plus traffic and congestion monitoring data. More locations around the county will be considered in the future.

It is the first time local authorities outside London and Cardiff have had the opportunity to apply for these powers. The police will retain the power to enforce traffic regulations in addition to the county council’s camera enforcement at the specific sites.

Councillor Andrew Gant, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Management, said: “We are delighted to be among the first wave of councils to be given these powers. Residents are desperate for us to tackle law breakers on our roads, and they are frustrated that a minority of drivers are getting away with dangerous or antisocial behaviour.

“Getting the powers to install cameras to make our roads safer was one of the priorities of this administration. Now that the Government has approved our application to take on these delegated powers, we can make Oxfordshire’s roads safer and less congested.”

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

Baroness Vere of Norbiton, Minister for Roads, Buses and Places, said: “Used appropriately, these new civil enforcement powers will play a key role in improving the efficiency and safety of journeys for all road users, and I am delighted to see Oxfordshire County Council as one of the early adopters.”

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