A rule change, brought in at the start of June, allows local authorities to enforce minor traffic offences and reap the financial rewards of doing so. Local authorities who wanted to have access to these powers had to apply – with London being the first to bite.
One of the most profitable enforcements for councils to adopt is to fine any motorist who crosses the solid white line of a cycle lane. Drivers in London will be hit with a £160 penalty charge notice (PCN), whilst it’s expected to be £140 outside of the capital.
Previously, only the police could issue fines to drivers who break the law by entering a cycle lane - even partially - but TfL are now enforcing this using its network of CCTV cameras across the city.
At least Mr Khan will now be able to slightly reduce the £700m per year that TfL loses – and those numbers were pre-Covid.
The AA issued warning that councils maximise revenues from unsuspecting motorists and encouraged letters to be sent to first time offenders instead of fines.
'London traffic penalty adjudicators continue to highlight instances of bad road layout, or councils ignoring or simply not understanding the rules of enforcement,' it said.
'With most innocent drivers paying up instead of contesting unjustified PCNs, councils can haul in tens of thousands of pounds in fines at locations they know to be traps.’
These fears were backed up by the RAC which said some authorities may be 'over enthusiastic' in using their new powers for revenue-raising reasons, which will see a huge spike in PCNs being issued.
Siwan Hayward, TfL's director of compliance, policing, operations and security, was mor enthusiastic, however: 'We welcome the introduction of the new enforcement powers in London.
'Protecting designated space for cyclists is essential in keeping them safe and improving confidence to cycle.
'We will start enforcing in key locations in London to deter drivers contravening the road rules.
'We want to ensure a green and sustainable future for London, and to do this we must continue to make walking and cycling round our city safe and accessible to all Londoners.'