Councils could soon have powers to fine drivers for 'moving traffic offences'

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A proposal drawn up by Lib Dem peers could see the control of 'moving traffic offences' switch from the police to town halls, The Sun has revealed.

The newspaper obtained information about the proposal, which was backed by Labour in the House of Parliament, and is due to be considered by MPs in the new year.

If approved, it will mean councils can fine motorists who make a wrong turn, drive the wrong way up a one-way street or get stuck in a box junction.

Currently, these offences come under the police's control, except for in London boroughs, where legislation allowed councils to take control more than a decade ago.

In the past three years alone, Hammersmith and Fulham council has generated £5million from fines for 'moving traffic offences'.

Outside of London, councils only have the power to fine motorists for entering a bus lane or parking infringements.

Motoring organisations have reacted with fury at the proposal, with the AA warning that it will lead to the installation of hundreds more CCTV cameras.

Speaking to The Sun, AA president Edmund King said: "The real problem with a proposal such as this is that once local authorities get the powers and start pulling the cash, they get addicted.

"They get dependent on the cash and even when flaws in their traffic management are revealed they have no desire to change it as the cash will dry up."

Charlie Elphicke, Tory backbencher and roads campaigner, added: "This is a terrible idea and will see councils using motorists as a cash cow.

"No one is saying motorists should be able to get away with poor driving. But giving the councils total control of when and how to fine millions will be too big an opportunity for them."