Local authorities earn £58.2m from moving traffic offences in one year

Local authorities in London and Cardiff raked in nearly £60 million in just 12 months from drivers caught breaking road rules such as blocking yellow box junctions, figures show.

Data obtained by the RAC revealed revenue from moving traffic offences was £58.2 million in the 2018/19 financial year after a million penalty charge notices (PCNs) were issued.

This is up 25% on the £46.7 million raised in 2016/17.

Moving traffic offences include yellow box misuse, making an illegal turn and driving the wrong way down a one-way street.

The only local authorities with the power to enforce these offences in England and Wales are Transport for London (TfL), the London boroughs and Cardiff Council.

But the Department for Transport confirmed last month that it plans to extend these powers to all councils in England and Wales as part of efforts to promote cycling and walking.

PCNs issued by TfL for moving traffic offences are £130, but the amount is halved if they are paid within a specified time period.

Yellow boxes are designed to ensure traffic flows smoothly through busy junctions. Motorists should only enter them when their exit is clear or they are waiting to turn right.

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “It’s plain for all to see that London boroughs, Transport for London and Cardiff are generating phenomenal sums of money from the enforcement of moving traffic offences.

“The vast majority of drivers we’ve surveyed agree that those who stop on yellow boxes, make illegal turns or go through ‘no entry’ signs need to be penalised, but when it comes to extending powers to other councils many are concerned, with 68% thinking local authorities will rush to install cameras to generate additional revenue.

“Four in 10 drivers (39%) also believe that road layouts and signage will be made deliberately confusing to increase the number of PCNs issued.

“Clearly, the priority for enforcement should be to improve road safety and reduce congestion.”

The RAC obtained the figures by sending a freedom of information request to TfL, 33 London boroughs and Cardiff Council.

TfL, 28 London boroughs and Cardiff Council responded with data.