Oldham

Council seeks powers to penalise inconsiderate drivers who ignore the rules

Oldham Council has launched a consultation over plans to stop inconsiderate drivers at six sites across the borough.

It follows a change in legislation which allows local authorities to enforce Moving Traffic Offences (MTOs), such as blocking yellow boxes and banned turns.

The proposed sites and restrictions are:

  • A62 Manchester Street – northwest side of Manchester Street, where the tram route crosses over the road
  • B6194 Glodwick Rd at the junction of Hamilton Street – opposite the back of the Hopwood House Surgery
  • A62 Huddersfield Rd at the junction of Livesey Street –outside the Damasgo restaurant
  • A62 Huddersfield Road at the junction of Holt Street southwest bound – between the Weavers Arms and Minders Arms pubs
  • A62 Manchester Road at the junction of Stanley Road and Ashfield Street – next to the Safestore Self Storage facility
  • A62 Manchester Road at the junction with the M60 Junction

Road safety remains a priority for the Council to keep our local communities safe while out and about.

It is hoped that dealing with drivers who ignore important road markings will also help public transport – particularly trams – by removing blocked junctions and routes.

This new legislation will also help with congestion hotspots, as enforcing against inconsiderate drivers could help keep traffic moving, in addition to potentially improving air quality as well.

Drivers could be fined up to £70 for breaking rules at the sites if the council is given the new powers previously held by the police.

All the sites were chosen because restrictions are already in place but the police do not have the resources to enforce.

The consultation will last November 1 and the full scheme could come into effect in summer next year, if approved by the government.

Using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras, first-time offenders would receive warning letters before the full £70 fine is issued. These fines would be reduced to £35 if paid within 14 days of the offence.

While the main objective is to improve road safety and reduce congestion, any income from fines will be used to pay for the costs of enforcement; to improve public transport; to pay for highway improvement projects and; to pay for environmental improvements in the borough.

Councillor Amanda Chadderton, Leader of Oldham Council, said: “If just one thoughtless driver blocks a yellow box it can snag up an entire road, causing significant delays in the local community which quickly generate various road safety concerns.

“Longer queues of slow moving traffic also leads to higher levels of pollution.

“The areas we have identified are locations where significant disruption takes place regularly. If we are given power to enforce MTOs then we’ll be able to address the issue.

“Please take part in this consultation so we can gather information on how this scheme will affect you.”

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