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Traffic enforcement 600 motorists so far

Author: Craig Forsyth Published: 22nd February 2024 09:35

Nearly 600 motorists will be warned about flouting road restrictions at a congested Northampton junction since recently introducing enforcement measures to help keep traffic moving there.

Nearly 600 motorists will be warned about flouting road restrictions at a congested Northampton junction since recently introducing enforcement measures to help keep traffic moving there.

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) is in the process of issuing 597 warning notices to drivers who have blocked the hatched yellow box at the junction of St John’s Street and Victoria Gardens since enforcement cameras went live at the start of this month (1 February 2024).

The measures have been put in place to help reduce town centre traffic congestion after the Department for Transport (DfT) changed legislation to enable local authorities to apply for powers to enforce against moving traffic contraventions.

During the first six months of this site going live, a warning notice will be issued for first offences to any vehicle, and from 1 August onwards, all motorists who breach the rules at this site will receive a Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) of £70.00, reduced to £35 if paid within 21 days. No PCNs have yet been issued. Any money from future PCNs is ring fenced and will be put back in to funding highways services and projects under the legislation.

Figures show that despite town centre diversions potentially causing additional traffic along St John’s Street, the majority of those drivers facing warning notices for blocking the yellow box were travelling away from the town centre on the Victoria Gardens gyratory system.

On 16 February 2024, WNC also introduced enforcement at two other sites with the following number of warnings currently being issued:

  • Right turns are not allowed from Fishponds Road into Great Billing Way – 187 warning notices
  • Hermitage Way is a bus only route which is routinely used by other motorists – 36 warning notices

Councillor Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste, said: “Contrary to recent reports and speculation, these new measures aren’t about ‘punishing’ drivers at all but helping them by trying to ease congestion and keep the traffic flowing in our town.

“We know some people have expressed unhappiness about them, but many more also support what we are doing and we have received requests to look at introducing these measures in other areas of West Northamptonshire.

“We want people to know where this enforcement is taking place and to be aware of the rules of the road in these areas so that they don’t fall foul of the law and help us to keep traffic moving.”

With its highways partner Kier and the police, WNC has identified the first five spots which would benefit from this kind of enforcement. Alongside the cameras put in place this month, two further locations already agreed are set to be added at a later stage:

Entry into the specified stretch of Deanshanger Road is prohibited except for buses. At the Horse Market junction with Gold St and Marefair, several right and left turns are banned, and drivers should also ensure they follow the blue directional arrow signs. Motorists should avoid stopping in the box junction at the eastern end of Gold Street. Further sites for enforcement are under consideration, especially those that residents suggested during the consultation process.

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