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Herts County Council looking to fine drivers who ignore highways restrictions in Bishop's Stortford town centre

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Drivers in Bishop's Stortford could face penalty charge notices as part of a new clampdown by Hertfordshire County Council.

The authority is applying for new legal powers to penalise motorists who ignore highways restrictions – and has singled out the town centre as a trouble spot.

The Department for Transport announced in June councils would be able to apply for the powers to use CCTV cameras to enforce contraventions such as ignoring 'no entry' and one-way restrictions, driving in cycle lanes or waiting in yellow box junctions.

Cllr Phil Bibby (53592066)
Cllr Phil Bibby (53592066)

Herts County Council intends to apply for these powers in the new year once legislation has been passed.

Cllr Phil Bibby, its executive member for highways and transport, said: "We're always looking for new ways to make our road network safer and less congested for residents.

"These new powers could allow us to manage locations where large and heavy vehicles travel down residential streets or where motorists ignore signs that are there to keep everyone safe.

"This is just one of a number of measures we're considering to improve things for residents and keep our county moving."

Initially, the council wants to trial them in locations that will improve connectivity, boost active travel or reduce congestion.

It is hoped the legal powers will be available to local authorities in 2022, and as it will take time to consult, design, install and operate camera enforcement, it is likely to be 2023 before that starts in Hertfordshire.

Some of the areas that will be considered by officers and then consulted on with residents will be places that could improve bus reliability, reduce congestion or where roads are unsuitable for large vehicles.

The council cited Woodmere Avenue in Watford, where there is currently a width restriction, and Bishop's Stortford town centre "where cars often wait in areas that are prohibited".

At the moment in England, only local authorities in London can issue penalty charge notices for such traffic offences.

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