Drivers who are caught in mandatory cycle lanes and cycle tracks in London will be fined from next week, after Transport for London (TfL) was given new enforcement powers.
From 27 June, TfL will begin issuing fines to vehicles that drive within, or cross, the white lines of cycle lanes that are marked by a solid white line and cycle tracks on TfL’s Road Network.
Previously, most drivers and vehicles were prohibited from driving in cycle lanes, but these rules were only enforced by police; now TfL will be able to fine those who break them, similar to how they fine those parking on double-red lines or entering bus lanes.
“Making London’s streets safer is our top priority,” London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, Will Norman, said. “These new enforcement powers will deter motorists from infringing on crucial space specifically designated to keep cyclists safe and will help improve cyclist’s confidence when getting around the capital.
“Enabling more Londoners to walk and cycle continues to be at the heart of the Mayor’s vision to create a healthier, cleaner and more sustainable London for everyone – these new powers will play an important role in that.”
TfL have been given the new powers by the government, and will allow the body to fine motorists who infringe on bike lanes and tracks in the capital.
At the same time, local authorities in England beyond London have been given powers to enforce "moving traffic contraventions". They have to apply to the secretary of state to gain these powers. Contraventions include things like driving in bus lanes or stopping in yellow boxes; previously these things could only be enforced by the police.
Initially, TfL will use existing CCTV cameras to enforce contraventions in cycle lanes and cycle tracks at key locations across its road network, which they hope to expand in time.
Siwan Hayward, TfL's Director of Compliance, Policing, Operations and Security, welcomed the new powers.
"Protecting designated space for cyclists is essential in keeping them safe and improving confidence to cycle," they said. "We will start enforcing in key locations in London to deter drivers contravening the road rules. We want to ensure a green and sustainable future for London, and to do this we must continue to make walking and cycling round our city safe and accessible to all Londoners.”
Tom Bogdanowicz, the Senior Policy and Development Officer for the London Cycling Campaign, said that the enforcement was "crucial" and will reduce danger for cyclists.
"Vehicles driving in cycle lanes put cyclists in danger and can deter people from choosing to cycle," he said. "That’s why it’s crucial that investment in cycling provision is backed up with camera enforcement, just as camera enforcement is used to keep bus lanes clear. We welcome TfL’s use of new enforcement powers do this. It will reduce road danger and further enhance the great value for money that investment in the cycling network brings.”
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