Sheffield council given power to fine drivers £70 for minor driving offences in city
Motorists could soon face being fined by Sheffield Council officials for their driving in the city.
Powers to enforce moving traffic offences may be handed to English councils outside London from December, a Department for Transport minister has said.
Baroness Vere told Traffex, a road traffic traffic industry conference: “Local authorities will need the tools to manage roads in the way that best serves local needs, which may vary in different parts of the country, and it is this ethos of localism that lies behind our decision to give more powers to local authorities under the Traffic Management Act.
“So, from December, local authorities will be able to enforce moving traffic offences, such as banned turns, box junctions and driving in formal cycle lanes.”
The possibility has met a mixed reception among prominent motorists in the city.
Hafeas Rehman, chairman of the Sheffield Taxi Trade Association welcomed the council taking action, feeling the council would be ‘on the ball’ about taking action against people who caused danger.
He said there were areas of the city centre which would benefit from enforcement action.
"I certainly think it would help at the yellow box junction at Sheaf Street near the train station,” he said. “That sometimes gets obstructed. I think there is an issue around the cycle lanes at Castle Street too, and with double parking around Spital Hill.
"I’d like to see any enforcement done properly and fairly, and I think rather than a lot of fines, I would like to see people made aware. I think it would be good to get traffic moving.”
But Haydn Vernals, who runs a traffic and road safety business in Sheffield and was a member of the Sheffield Motorists Forum, was unimpressed with the plans.
He said: “I think it’s another step away from funding the police for doing a job they were trained to do properly.
"If you have the police doing it, they something find other offices like defective tyres or people driving under the influence of alcohol.
"Once you start the local authorities doing it it can become a very black and white process with cameras.”
He added he felt it could become a case of using fines as a revenue source instead of taxation.
Sheffield Council has been approached for comment.