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Councils can now charge motorists £130 for stopping in yellow boxes

Patrick Christys
Oct 18, 2019

There is no end to the ways in which drivers can be penalised.

As councils and police forces desperately try to raise money, like a great nation-wide whip round, drivers are increasingly being seen as fair game. 

You're not driving a car, you're driving a mobile cash cow for local authorities to exploit. 

And now all councils will soon have the power to issue £130 penalties to Brits who break minor traffic offences.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told MPs earlier this week he was preparing to give all councils across the UK the power to fine drivers for minor traffic offences, such as stopping in a yellow box junction.

Speaking at the transport committee meeting on Tuesday, Mr Shapps said: "I have been looking at powers outside of London provided to local areas to do some of these things, and think that I’ll shortly be making an announcement."

The moves comes after MPs on the committee raised concerns that police officers were being kept busy policing minor offences rather than more serious crimes.

A major drop in police numbers is also linked to the change, with 20,000 officers leaving the force since 2010.

Currently, councils in London and Bristol are the only local authorities that can hit drivers with £130 fines for moving traffic violations.

Under the Traffic Management Act 2004, councils can apply to tackle local traffic issues, such as parking and bus lane infringements.

But as a part of the likely changes, they will be also be able to issue fines to drivers who stop in a yellow box junction.

Transport for London issued up to £16million in fines for yellow box junctions in the 2017/18 financial year.

Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy at the RAC said: "Local authorities know where congestion might require some form of enforcement, particularly in the case of box junctions, so it stands to reason they should be able to improve this through the use of enforcement.

"However, we remain concerned that cash-strapped authorities may see this as an opportunity to extract more revenue from drivers.

"Should powers be extended to cover all moving traffic offences, local authorities must use this as an opportunity to improve traffic flow and safety, and not as a way to generate more revenue."

Earlier this year, we revealed councils in London raked in up to £520,000 in fines for moving traffic violations each day.

Shockingly, drivers in the City of London are most likely to be nabbed by councils, with almost 200,000 total penalties issued in 2017/18.

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