From Monday 27 June, Transport for London will begin issuing fines to motorists caught driving in mandatory cycle lanes or cycle tracks in the city.
While most drivers are already prohibited from driving within or across cycle tracks or bike lanes marked by a solid white line, previously this was only enforced by the police.
This latest move by the government, however, has expanded these enforcement powers to Transport for London (TfL) and all London boroughs, giving them the authority to fine motorists infringing on cycle lanes in the same way that they currently do for bus lanes and yellow box junctions.
TfL hopes that by reducing the number of drivers failing to comply with the law regarding cycle lanes, the new powers will help improve the safety and confidence of cyclists as part of the body’s Cycling Action Plan and Vision Zero goal of eliminating death and serious injury on the road network.
“Making London’s streets safer is our top priority,” said Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, in a statement.
“These new enforcement powers will deter motorists from infringing on crucial space specifically designated to keep cyclists safe and will help improve cyclist’s confidence when getting around the capital.
“Enabling more Londoners to walk and cycle continues to be at the heart of the Mayor’s vision to create a healthier, cleaner and more sustainable London for everyone – these new powers will play an important role in that.”
TfL will initially use existing CCTV cameras to issues fines to motorists driving in cycle lanes and cycle tracks at key locations across its road network.
The new powers in London have been introduced at the same time as wider national changes which give local authorities the power, previously only held by the police, to enforce moving traffic conventions.
Siwan Hayward, TfL's Director of Compliance, Policing, Operations and Security, welcomed the new powers.
“Protecting designated space for cyclists is essential in keeping them safe and improving confidence to cycle,” Hayward said.
“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.”
While the Metro published an article this morning claiming that the changes “will divide drivers and cyclists even more”, London Councils’ Climate Change, Transport and Environment Lead, Mayor Philip Glanville, argued that the expanded civil powers will make London safer “for all road users”.
“While most motorists do follow the rules, enforcement is a good deterrent for those who put other road users at unnecessary risk,” he said.
“By making roads safer across the capital, and having the powers to enforce on critical cycling and walking routes, we can increase opportunities for active travel which means a healthier, more active, greener and cleaner London.”
Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.