‘Unsafe’ London drivers could be fined £ 160 for straying into cycle lanes

Drivers in London could be hit with £ 160 fines if they veer into a cycle lane by a tire’s width, as Transport for London wields new powers to enforce traffic offenses previously only dealt with by the police.

From next week, Transport for London will begin issuing fines to vehicles that repeatedly drive within, or cross, cycle lanes marked by a solid white line.

The body, chaired by Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, will use its existing CCTV camera network to enforce cycle lane contraventions at key locations across its road network.

Local authorities in England outside the capital have also been given the right to apply for powers to issue fines for traffic offenses that were previously only the remit of the police, such as stopping in a yellow box junction and making illegal U-turns.

Warning notices for first time offenses

The Telegraph understands that local authorities outside London will be expected to issue warning notices for first time contraventions at each individual camera location for the first six months they are operational.

This will apply to any new camera location added in future.

London authorities will be expected to do the same for cycle lane contraventions. They, along with Cardiff Council, can already issue fines for other traffic offenses, such as driving down a “no entry” road.

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said the change could have a positive effect. However, he said local authorities need to be wary that “many will accuse them of filling the council coffers should this penalty be seen to be excessively enforced”.

Mr Cousens added that road markings needed to be clearly visible, so there can be no doubt as to the contravention.

Fines for those who ‘behave unsafely’

Susan Hall, assembly leader of the London Conservatives, said: “I’m afraid in my view, it’s war against the motorist yet again.

“If this Mayor can find any way of taxing them, giving them penalty charge notices, and making life difficult for them, he will.”

Transport for London will issue fines at the same level as other red route penalty charge notices, meaning the £ 160 fine will be halved to £ 80 if paid within two weeks.

A spokesman for Transport for London said: “From a TfL perspective, the ideal is that we issue no fines – since that would mean that all road users are following the rules and therefore the roads would be far safer. Fines are issued to road users who behave unsafely. ”

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