Drivers warned they face fines for straying into cycle lanes

Friday, 1st July — By Charlotte Chambers

Alec-James

Alec James from Islington Cycling Club

MOTORISTS straying into cycle lanes and boxes at traffic lights will now receive fines under new powers unveiled by Transport for London.

The new measures, introduced on Monday, could affect any drivers who have edged their cars over the solid white lines along roads and at stops.

There will be a grace period of six months where motorists will receive a written warning in the first instance.

While cars are already banned from cycle lanes, the prohibition was previously only enforced by police.

Now, CCTV will be used by TfL and Islington Council to fine drivers in the same way they currently do for bus lane and yellow box contraventions.

The changes come as part of TfL’s Vision Zero pledge to eliminate fatalities and casualties on London’s roads by 2030.

More than half of Londoners choose not to cycle because of safety fears, TfL said in a statement released at the launch.

The changes aim to increase the number of people who take to a bike to get around, which strategists in turn hope will improve the borough’s air quality.

Alec James, the chair of Islington Cycling Club, welcomed the changes but said it had taken Islington too long to pressure drivers to get out of cycle lanes and warned the borough lagged behind other similar authorities.

Neighbouring Camden was cited as having far more mandatory cycle lanes.

Advisory cycle lanes – marked by a dotted line instead of a solid white one – are not enforceable.

Calling it “a real shame” that Islington had not been looked at “more holistically” – meaning while enforcement powers are now available there are very few protected lanes – Mr James added: “I want them [Islington and TfL] to use the new powers wholeheartedly to enforce what they have whilst building more safe space on the key routes.

“They need to do more and get serious about the main roads in the borough.”

In particular, he called for protected bike lanes along Holloway Road and Camden Road, the scene of several injuries to cyclists and a fatality.

Mr James said the changes to enforcement were “all the more pertinent” at a time when injuries for those on two wheels on London’s roads had doubled in the past year and 10 cyclists died.

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