Council considering seeking powers to enforce traffic laws around school
Wirral Council is seeking the views of residents on a proposal that would see local authority enforcement officers given powers to take action if they see drivers committing a moving traffic offence.
Currently, enforcement of these offences is only carried out by police officers. However, under the Traffic Management Act (2004), local authorities outside London are able to apply to the Department of Transport (DfT) for delegated powers to allow the authority to do this directly.
In the first instance, the council would be seeking permission to allow enforcement officers to take action in one distinct location – around Green Lane and Greenleas Close in Wallasey. This location has been chosen as it is the site of the first School Streets scheme introduced in Wirral.
School Streets aims to create a safer and more pleasant environment for everyone around the school by restricting access to vehicles at drop-off and pick-up times in the vicinity of the building, instead encouraging students and parents to walk or cycle. The scheme is being delivered through Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders (ETROs) and is being trialled for 18 months.
Having powers to enforce the traffic restrictions that are in place around Greenleas Primary School will further strengthen the council’s School Streets initiative and have a range of related benefits for the community, including:-
- Reduced congestion
- Improved road safety, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists
- Improved journey times for public transport
- Better air quality and reduced transport related emissions that contribute to carbon net zero targets
Moving traffic offences include actions such as motorists not heeding ‘no waiting’, ‘no entry’, ‘no right turn’ and ‘no stopping’ signs. Fixed penalty notices and fines can be issued as part of the enforcement of these offences.
The council has launched a consultation to gather residents’ feedback on the proposal to ensure people’s views will be taken into consideration before any decision is made to proceed with the application for enforcement powers at the suggested location around Greenleas Primary School.
People can view more details of the proposal and register their comments on the council’s consultation website, https://haveyoursay.wirral.gov.uk/
The consultation responses will then be reviewed and a decision will be taken on whether to proceed. If approved, the council will make a formal application to the Department for Transport to seek the powers to enforce moving traffic contraventions, with the aim of implementation in summer 2023.
Cllr Liz Grey, Chair of the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee, said:
The restrictions that School Streets places on traffic around participating schools are covered by the law, but at present we are relying solely on police officers to take action against persistent offenders.
There is scope within the law for those powers to be delegated to council-appointed enforcement officers, so it is important that we explore this opportunity specifically to support the School Streets scheme. Please, take a look and let us know what you think of the idea.