The first pilot scheme being put forward for consideration covers nine locations across the area, including ones in Barton le Clay, Biggleswade, Brogborough, Cranfield, Dunstable, Leighton Buzzard and Silsoe.
Central Bedfordshire Council has launched the consultation on proposals which could see automated number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras help deter various traffic offences near schools and other identified locations. This aims to improve road safety, support public transport, ease congestion, enhance air quality and increase the lifespan of the roads.
The pilot scheme will be evaluated and if successful could see other locations considered in the future. The powers will support local communities and residents by making them safer and better places.
The Department for Transport recently changed legislation to enable councils to apply for powers used previously only by the police. The legislation can only be used where other methods of deterrent have been unsuccessful in solving the problem, and further measures are still required. The law states that only ANPR cameras can be used for enforcement of moving traffic offences. Warning notices would be issued for first-time offences for a period of six months following the ‘go live’ date.
The council is looking to take advantage of the opportunity and wants people to have their say on the plans after the Executive agreed consultation should go ahead.
A moving traffic offence includes driving through a 'no entry' sign, turning left or right when instructed not to do so, entering yellow box junctions when the exit is not clear, driving where and when motor vehicles are prohibited and parking on yellow zig zag markings.
Cllr Ian Dalgarno, executive member for Community Services, said: “We continue to look at ways that will improve road safety and ease congestion and these new powers represent a significant opportunity to address known problems at specific locations across Central Bedfordshire.
"Through adopting these new powers, we can take action against road users who ignore the rules of the road which are there to keep us all safe. We hope the powers will have real benefits for our communities, residents and road users.”
The sites were chosen after reviewing traffic offence intelligence and have been prioritised based on road safety concerns.
The locations and road sign or marking being ignored:
· Barton le Clay – Barton Road and Bedford Road junction – no right turn
· Biggleswade - Sun Street – no entry and one way only
· Brogborough – Bedford Road – no goods vehicles over 7.5 tonnes
· Cranfield – Lodge Road – no left turn
· Houghton Regis – Tithe Farm Primary School – school keep clear yellow zig zags
· Dunstable – one way route near Sainsburys – yellow box junction
· Leighton Buzzard – Clipstone Brook Lower School – keep clear yellow zig zags
· Leighton Buzzard – High Street, Leighton Buzzard – pedestrian zone restrictions
· Silsoe – Barton Road / High Street – no goods vehicles over 7.5 tonnes
The consultation runs until August 4 with full information and a feedback form available at www.centralbedfordshire/consultations
The powers would come into effect in 2023 subject to consultation, further investigation on the suitability of the sites and appropriate government approval.