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New powers will see council tackle moving traffic offences at key junctions

Published on Friday, February 16, 2024

2 minute read

Yellow box junction

WORK to prepare two key city centre junctions for new powers to tackle traffic offences and improve congestion is getting underway.

Leicester City Council has gained permission from the Department for Transport to use camera enforcement at two yellow box junctions close to St Margaret’s Bus Station, using legislation that allows councils to deal with so-called moving traffic offences.

The new powers will allow the council to enforce traffic offences at the junction of Abbey Street and Gravel Street, and the junction of Vaughan Way and Causeway Lane.

Both junctions regularly become blocked by motorists who break the law by entering the boxes without being able to exit, disrupting bus services, blocking emergency vehicles and potentially causing gridlock.

The problems were identified as part of work with the Leicester Buses Partnership, which brings together local bus operators and the city council to improve services.

Ahead of enforcement coming into action, line markings at both junctions will be renewed. This will involve burning of the existing line markings overnight on Sunday 18 February, and repainting the junctions the following Sunday night (25 Feb). Temporary overnight road closures will be required while the work is carried out, with well-signed diversions will be in place.

Cameras are due to be installed at both locations in March, before new enforcement powers are introduced later in the spring.

Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on climate, economy and culture, said: “These new ‘London-style’ camera-enforced yellow box junctions will be among the first outside the capital, where they have been used for many years to the benefit of all road users.

“We’ve looked closely at the road layouts at both sites, which are busy parts of the city centre road network. The yellow box junctions in place are there to stop motorists from entering the junction unless their exit is clear, as set out in the Highway Code.

“However, it doesn’t take too many people ignoring that to cause significant traffic disruption, blocking access to and from the bus station and preventing emergency vehicles from getting through.

“Successfully applying to the Government for camera enforcement powers at these junctions means we can take more responsibility for ensuring traffic flows efficiently and safely.”

Under the Traffic Management Act 2004, councils can apply to the Government to take on the responsibility for traffic offences, by applying for a Designation Order. This gives councils powers to enforce areas such as box junctions, one-way streets, no-entry signs or other prohibited traffic movements, along with bus lanes, cycles lanes and pedestrian zones for example.

Results of a public consultation on the proposals, carried out in late-2022, showed that almost three quarters of respondents supported the introduction of camera enforcement at three yellow box junctions – two close to St Margaret’s Bus Station, and the third at the Southgates Underpass merge with Vaughan Way.