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Decision details

Traffic Management Act Part 6 - Application to the Department for Transport to enforce Moving Traffic Offences

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Decision:

5.1

The Committee considered a report of the Executive Director, City Futures that advised earlier this year and following a change in the law, the Department for Transport (DfT) confirmed that Local Highway Authorities in England and Wales had the opportunity to apply for a Designation Order to undertake enforcement in respect of Moving Traffic contraventions in their areas.

 

This means traffic enforcement cameras could be used to enable the Council to enforce a variety of existing traffic restrictions on Sheffield’s roads, to help improve safety and reduce congestion. These restrictions were previously only enforceable by the police and include driving through a ‘No Entry’ sign, turning left or right when instructed not to do so i.e., banned turns, entering yellow box junctions when the exit is not clear, and driving where and when motor vehicles are prohibited. The use of enforcement powers could also be a key tool in the development of the Councils new transport strategies and implications of schemes, aimed at improving infrastructure for buses, cycles and pedestrians, aligned to current Department for Transport policy.

 

The report set out the background, benefits and issues associated with moving traffic enforcement.  It also summarised the consultation process, which received a total of 596 public comments, including the reporting of objections and the respective response.

 

The report concluded with a recommendation that Sheffield City Council applies to the Department for Transport for a Designation Order, following the process set out in statutory guidance, so as to enable moving traffic enforcement.

 

 

5.2

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the Transport, Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee:-

 

  1. considered the objections received in response to the public consultation in respect of the restrictions (Appendix A) and the sites at which they were proposed to be enforced (detailed in Appendix B) and decide that, in light of those objections, the Council is to apply to the Department of Transport under Schedule 8 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 to request that a Designation Order be made in respect of the entirety of the Sheffield City Council civil enforcement area;

 

  1. following the making of the Designation Order, approves the commencement of enforcement in respect of those moving traffic offences so as to improve safety and tackle congestion;

 

  1. notes that further public consultation in accordance with the relevant statutory guidance must be carried out before moving traffic enforcement can be implemented in respect of further locations/restrictions which are outside of those detailed in Appendix B and;

 

 4.   where further sites are proposed for enforcement of moving traffic   offences, authorise the Head of Strategic Transport, Sustainability and Infrastructure to commence consultation on those proposals in accordance with the relevant statutory guidance and, where no objections are received in response, proceed with implementation.

 

 

5.3

Reasons for Decision

 

 

5.3.1

Road Safety is of paramount importance for the City of Sheffield and our residential and business communities.  As an Authority, there is a commitment to achieve a transport network that meets the Vision Zero by 2050, meaning that any death or serious injury on the highway network is considered as one too many.  This supports the long-term goal of zero people killed or seriously injured on Sheffield’s roads within the next 28 years. 

 

 

5.3.2

This principle has been adopted by the South Yorkshire Safer Road Partnership, in coalition with our South Yorkshire partners, including South Yorkshire Police, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and the constituent Local Authorities.  This aligns with local, regional and national policy directions.  Greater enforcement of the highway network, achieving via the moving traffic offence enforcement powers is key to achieving this ambition.

 

 

5.3.3

There are benefits that can be derived from a greater level of enforcement, to ensure the safe and efficient use of the highway for all road users, specifically in relation to road safety and network management principles.  In addition to this, the drawing down of these powers will help relieve pressure on local Police resources.  These powers would provide us with the ability to protect highway users from unlawful vehicle manoeuvres and allow us to target and protect specific locations where routine dangerous movements are occurring.

 

 

5.3.4

In relation to congestion and network management, more control over vehicle movements at key intersections would ensure a greater level of resilience of the network.  Illegal movements at key junctions have significant impact on the flow of traffic and at present many of these actions go unpunished due to the availability of policing resources.  The enforcement of these movements would reduce the occurrence, which has the primary benefit of improving safety for all highway users.  It would also allow our Urban Traffic Control centre to operate in a more routine and consistent manner, particularly in relation to managing signal strategies and queuing traffic.

 

 

5.3.5

From a policy and strategy perspective, Sheffield City Council has previously appealed to the Department for Transport for the designation of these powers.  This occurred in 2012 with a specific representation to the Department followed by requests via the Yorkshire and Humber Traffic Manager Forum.  Most recently we have developed and adopted a Sheffield Transport Strategy, to which we have highlighted an action to develop and review our parking and traffic enforcement policy, and to lobby for the Sheffield to be granted powers to enforce moving traffic offences under the decriminalised enforcement regime.  The letter was therefore clearly aligned to our strategic position.

 

 

5.3.6

The report outlined Sheffield City Council’s intention, as Local Highway Authority, to include the whole of the Sheffield Administrative Boundary as the operational extent of the Designation Order, including all roads classified as public highway.  Roads excluded would therefore only be those roads not under our direct control such as the Strategic Road Network (Highways England) and private land.  This also includes all the Traffic Signs that the Government has agreed to implement.  This would ensure rollout across the city, to assist future scheme development and policy implementation.

 

 

5.3.7

Every effort to make the highway safer, in accordance with our statutory obligation being made at present.  The opportunity for greater enforcement will bolster  design processes, with the ultimate aim to prevent illegal movements, these powers significantly improve this.  As the country, region and city moves towards a transport network which seeks to promote active travel and public transport, road safety for vulnerable road users is essential and the management of congestion on public transport corridors is critically important.

 

 

5.3.8

The responses to the consultation are addressed earlier in the report and the extent of the support for the proposals versus those who object is noted. Further, having considered the breadth of the response from the public and other consultees it is considered that the recommendations of this report should be taken forward on the basis that the benefits of the proposals set out in the preceding paragraphs of this section are considered to outweigh the concerns raised.

 

 

5.4

Alternatives Considered and Rejected

 

 

5.4.1

Do not submit – this would result in Sheffield City Council deciding not to submit its application for a Designation Order to enable the use of its powers to carry out moving traffic enforcement.  This is not considered recommended for the reasons already outlined in this report.

 

 

5.4.2

Postpone Submission – There is an option to postpone the submission of the application of the Designation Order.  This is not recommended as the DfT has indicated that the opportunity to draw down the powers may not be available after this date. Additionally if an application is made to the January 2023 deadline this will enable a more expedient implementation.

 

 

5.4.3

Reduce the number of sites – This has been considered but not recommended as each site poses a different set of contraventions and local circumstances that would be useful to test camera enforcement

 

 

5.4.4

Do not apply for City Wide implementation in the Designation Order – This option would mean that Sheffield City Council only requests the power at the specific sites identified.  Although this would still provide benefit, it would only do so for the specific sites.  It would also preclude further roll out across the administrative area without a further application and therefore limit the use of these powers in future scheme implementation and policy development.  It is therefore not recommended.

 

 

5.4.5

Do not apply for all the moving traffic contraventions (outlined in Appendix A) – Specific moving traffic offences could be requested.  This is not recommended as it is not clear exactly which offences would need to be enforced, beyond the site-specific requirements already identified, at this point in time.  Therefore, it would be pragmatic to request all the moving traffic offences so they can be used when required, on a site by site, scheme by scheme basis. 

 

 

 

 

Publication date: 24/01/2023

Date of decision: 19/01/2023

Decided at meeting: 19/01/2023 - Transport, Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee

Accompanying Documents: