More cameras could be on way to fine law-breaking Norfolk motorists
- Credit: Antony Kelly
Plans to install cameras on several key Norfolk streets to catch motorists driving in pedestrian areas and bus lanes have taken a significant step forward.
The devices will be able to detect drivers committing so-called 'moving traffic offences', which also include ignoring bans on right hand turns.
Until now, Norfolk motorists breaking those laws could only be caught by direct enforcement from police officers.
But from this summer, the government says that councils outside London or Cardiff - where the powers are already in force - will be able, for the first time, to issue £70 penalty notices for them.
And Norfolk County Council has now applied to the Department for Transport for powers to use traffic monitoring cameras to catch and fine drivers who flout existing rules in seven Norfolk streets.
Six are in Norwich and one is in Great Yarmouth. Norwich ones are:
Gentlemen’s Walk – pedestrian/cycle zone with access for loading only permitted between certain times of the day. The council says that is often flouted.
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Carrow Road – enforcing the right turn ban on to King Street during morning and evening peak times in order to ease congestion.
King Street – the right turn ban on to Carrow Hill during peak times.
Martineau Lane – the right turn ban to Europa Way industrial estate on the outer ring road.
Dereham Road - enforcing bus lane violations near Norwich Road and Marl Pit Lane.
In Yarmouth Regent Road would be covered - a pedestrian zone with access for loading only during quieter periods of the day, which the council says is often violated by vehicles.
It would cost £275,000 for camera installation and £270,000 a year to pay staff to issue fines, process appeals and deal with inquiries.
The council says the first six months would see just warnings issued, so the service would become "financially self-sustaining", through fine collection, from year two.
Martin Wilby, the council's cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, said the powers would enforce existing restrictions, not introduce new ones.
He said such enforcement could smooth traffic flow, cut crashes and improve air quality.
He said: "I’m grateful to everyone who responded to the public consultation which showed overall support for the use of camera enforcement at these sites.”
Motoring organisations previously warned councils should not wield the powers overenthusiastically.