Local authorities given new powers to crack down on drivers who park in cycle lanes

With more people jumping on the bike during lockdown, new measures are being introduced to keep riders safe

(Image credit: Universal Images Group via Getty)

Local authorities have been granted new powers to crackdown on drivers who park in cycle lanes.

As part of the governments plans to get more people on bikes as the UK eases the coronavirus lockdown, new measures are being put in place to keep riders safe on the roads.

From June 22, councils will have authority to use CCTV to hand out penalty charges to drivers who park or stop illegally in cycle lanes.

Cycling minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “Across the country there has been a surge in the number of people dusting off their old bike from the back of the shed and cycling, or taking journeys on foot to get from A to B.

“Giving local authorities more powers to stop cycle lanes from becoming blocked will make it safer for cyclists.

‘These new measures also build on our £2 billion investment to create a green, healthier legacy and see more people travelling by bicycle or on foot.”

The government said that cars parking and loading in mandatory cycle lanes often force riders into the flow of traffic.

With the approved cameras, local authorities with civil parking enforcement powers can take action against the drivers illegally parked in the lanes.

Mandatory cycle lanes are marked by an unbroken white line, which means drivers are not permitted to cross the line and enter the path.

The use of the word mandatory refers to drivers not being allowed to enter the lane, not that they are mandatory for cyclists to use.

As the UK begins to ease coronavirus restrictions, the government is concerned that cities and towns could become gridlocked.

People returning to work are being urged to avoid public transport to reduce the risk of coronavirus spread, but this has sparked concerns more people will travel by car instead.

The government has introduced a number of measures to get more people on bikes, including a bike repair voucher scheme.

According to statistics released last week, there has been a 200 per cent increase in cycling during the coronavirus lockdown.

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Transport secretary Grant Schapps announced the enormous surge in the number of people cycling while giving the governments daily coronavirus briefing on Thursday, June 4.

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.