The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead is applying for powers to enforce existing moving traffic restrictions in problem locations, in order to improve road safety and reduce congestion.
The Government is inviting councils to apply to use Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras to tackle illegal and dangerous driving activities, such as turning up one-way streets, ignoring no entry signs, exceeding weight limits and driving in pedestrian zones.
While police will continue to have powers, traffic police cannot be at all trouble spots all the time to personally witness contraventions, so cameras at target locations would make enforcement more consistent, effective and hopefully act as a deterrent to help prevent breaches happening in the first place.
In addition to improving road safety and cutting congestion, the measures would have the added benefit of freeing up police time to tackle other public priorities. The Royal Borough is applying with the support of Thames Valley Police. Fines collected from enforcement would be reinvested to maintain cameras and make roads safer and more efficient.
The council is holding a six-week consultation, from today (Tuesday 15 November) until 24 December, to ensure it has identified the best sites for targeted camera enforcement. The proposal is to trial cameras next year at 10 problem locations, starting initially with the five trouble spots where monitoring and public feedback show restrictions are breached most.
For further details and to take part, please visit www.rbwm.gov.uk/consultations or use the public-access computers available at all local libraries, where staff are happy to help you get online if needed. If you require paper copies of the proposal or the response form, these are also available from libraries upon request.
Councillor Phil Haseler, Cabinet member for planning, parking, highways and transport, said: “Most motorists are responsible and drive safely, however we all know there are those who routinely see the restriction signs and ignore them, knowing they’re unlikely to be caught breaking the rules.
“This opportunity allows us to work further in partnership with the police to improve road safety and tackle congestion for the benefit of communities affected by illegal and dangerous driving. We’re taking a proportionate approach targeting those problem locations where consistent enforcement will have greatest impact. We’d like people’s thoughts on those locations to ensure we’ve chosen the right ones.
“Many councils are applying currently and our hope is it will act as a deterrent to help prevent breaches and dangerous driving happening in the first place. This measure does not create any new restrictions, only helps police with enforcement of current rules, and once cameras are in place there will be a reasonable lead-in period to raise awareness before any true enforcement starts.”
Superintendent Jonathan Groenen, Windsor and Maidenhead LPA Commander, said: “This is a great opportunity for residents to have their say on the locations they are most concerned about with regard to road safety.
“While Thames Valley Police will continue to enforce the law, we cannot always be at locations where traffic offences take place. The provision of ANPR cameras and the support of the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead will help make local roads safer for all who use them.”