Approval to enter into appropriate contractual arrangements for the provision of the Moving Traffic Enforcement contract, including any possible future extensions.
Reason for the decision:
KCC has been designated the powers to enforce moving traffic contraventions such as driving through a ‘no entry’ sign, or on routes meant for buses only,under civil law, as a last resort when all reasonable engineering steps have been taken to design out driver non-compliance. Market engagement has shown that an end-to-end package would fully deliver the required service with minimal risk to KCC. Procurement of the service is now required, and the Cabinet Member is being asked to delegate authority to the Corporate Director of Growth, Environment and Transport to award the contract.
Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 allows the highway network to be more effectively managed by the Highway Authority, allowing the civil enforcement of a variety of moving traffic contraventions in line with national standards. For many years these moving traffic contraventions have been enforced by the police under criminal law, as Part 6 had not been through the required parliamentary process. In September 2020, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced that they would be fully enacting the remaining elements of the Traffic Management Act. KCC applied to the Secretary of State for these powers earlier this year, and on 15th July 2022 KCC was granted the Designation Order. Enforcement would be undertaken using CCTV cameras to only capture footage of non-compliant vehicles and their registration plate, resulting in a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) being issued by post to the vehicle owner. This will be £70 unless paid within 21 days, where it would be £35
It is important to note that as Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 gives KCC brand new powers which have not been available to any Local Authority (outside of London) before, benchmarking and comparisons to other similar contracts, processes or predicted effectiveness has proven unproductive.
There are no existing contracts in place that give KCC access to the necessary DfT certified hardware and processing infrastructure for Moving Traffic Enforcement and any resultant Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs). Three scenarios have been considered as part of the assessment process:
1. Do nothing
If KCC do not undertake the procurement exercise to enter a contractual arrangement with a CCTV supplier and enforcement partner, it will not be fulfilling the statutory obligations of the 2004 Traffic Management Act to better manage vehicles on its road network.
Through the designation order, moving Traffic Enforcement has formally become the responsibility of the designated local highway authority (KCC). Kent Police are therefore no longer solely obliged to deliver enforcement of moving traffic offences.
Doing nothing would vastly reduce the tools available to KCC to improve safety, tackle congestion, improve public transport etc.
2. Do minimum
This scenario would mean KCC undertaking a procurement exercise to enter into a contractual arrangement with a CCTV supplier and enforcement partner for only the 7 sites submitted in the DfT application process, and not expanding the number of sites enforced beyond that.
It is felt that this option does not conform with the DfT’s rationale for the implementation of Part 6 of the TMA. It would not meet KCC’s strategic aims to drive improvements across the whole of the Kent road network. KCC would not be making good use of all available tools to manage the network effectively. The impact of this would be an ongoing back office system which may not be financially sustainable.
3. Do something
This scenario would mean KCC procuring a supplier that can assist in the delivery of approximately 50 sites being enforced by the end of the 5-year contract.
Seven sites have already been assessed (as a requirement of the DfT application to take on these powers), and a further 54 sites have been put forward by KCC teams, Members, Borough Council officers and members of the public to date. This list is constantly growing, which shows the level of need and enthusiasm for these powers to be fully utilised by KCC in order to better manage the road network.
This is the preferred option, as it would enable KCC to tackle the well-established issues of inconsiderate HGV routing, traffic control around the channel ports, and more effective working with National Highways on the local and strategic road network.
Widespread enforcement of moving traffic offences would see success at many sites, collectively resulting in an improved road network.
A thorough market engagement exercise has confirmed the feasibility of two approaches to the infrastructure’s procurement:
1. An end-to-end solution from a single provider (Camera supplier, PCN system issuer & debt recovery); or
2. Segmenting the system components into three separate delivery packages/contracts. Owing to the risk related to system failures and component linkage issues, the former has been chosen as the most durable option for the required contract.
During market engagement it became evident that an end-to-end service contract reduces the risks to KCC, allows greater visibility of the ‘customer’s journey’ through the PCN system and makes financial accounting cleaner; a requirement from DfT. This is therefore the preferred method of delivery.
How the proposed decision supports Framing Kent’s Future 2022-2026:
The scheme supports policy objectives of Infrastructure for Communities by ensuring people have access to safe and efficient travel options, and Environmental Step Change through turning the curve on transport emissions and supporting public transport provision.
The anticipated value for this contract over a 5-year initial term is £4m.
This contract gives H&T access to the certified civil enforcement infrastructure. It shall only be utilised to deploy enforcement as a last resort at locations where action is needed, where all engineering mitigation has been exhausted which is transparent, accountable, proportionate, and consistent.
KCCs Application for the Designation Order required a selection of enforcement sites to be proposed. An initial outlay is required to cover the purchase of these cameras and enforcement system for the 1st tranche sites, and £200k has been secured for this from the Kent Lane Rental scheme.
The funding for further locations will be determined on a site-by-site basis by the scheme promoters. Upfront costs such as consultation, design, staffing is to be found from the schemes promoters budgets.
Operational costs for providing an enforcement service can be ‘claimed back’ by the revenue generated by future PCNs (up to 4 years after costs have been incurred) This is also to include the issuing of Warning to Driver Notices for a driver’s first offence during the first six months of enforcement at a new site.
While KCC understand that London and Cardiff operate their Moving Traffic Enforcement Service with nil cost to the Authority (with some surplus). In the unlikely event that Kent cannot operate a financially efficient enforcement service, provisions will be made contractually to terminate our obligations with Suppliers in an effort to minimise our financial risk to the County Council.
The proposed option is very low risk and ensures minimal liability to KCC.
Any future enforcement roll out is proposed to run at no cost to KCC: the DfT have dictated that the revenue generated by the issuing of PCNs should cover the operational costs of the business in the first instance.
Any revenue is required to be deposited into a dedicated account; its balance is to be made visible to the DfT on an annual basis. The funds will be ringfenced for highway improvement projects and can only be spent on activities that are within the scope of the legislation. One reasonable example of trying to improve compliance of a traffic restriction may be to refresh or update the signing and lining at the location in question, and surplus revenue could be spent on such a project.
The enforcement of moving traffic offences is a new task for Local Authorities in England, which makes predicting the likely number of PCNs (and therefore income) per site very difficult. However, Cardiff Council has had the ability to enforce for 8 years now and having started with 15 CCTV units they now have 120, generating circa £2.4m per annum. Discussions have highlighted there is likely to be a great deal of variation in yield for different types of enforcement; for example, in Cardiff a yellow box junction yielded circa 9,000 PCNs in year 1 whilst a no-entry camera yielded just 377 in the same year. The need for a site to be enforced cannot be dependent on potential yield. The tranche 1 sites and all subsequent sites will go through a rigorous assessment process prior to CCTV units being installed. However, financial gain cannot be a consideration of site selection.
In the highly unlikely event that the revenue generated by PCNs does not cover the outgoings beyond year 2 owing to either numerous sites with low PCN numbers, or the success of enforcement resulting in limited contraventions at monitored sites, the contract will include an exit strategy enabling termination of the contract by either party with 6 months’ notice.
As the legislative powers are being transferred from criminal law to civil law, KCC has sought legal counsel. Discussions are ongoing.
An EqIA has been undertaken and has highlighted some negative impacts, resulting in subsequent mitigation action being taken around IT during the public engagement exercise by providing information in a wide range of formats, and with an option to request text in other languages. Issues around paying online and suitable alternatives will be addressed with the Supplier. Positive impacts have also been noted, such as more reliable journey times for vulnerable groups – particularly by public transport.
Data Protection implications:
Ongoing detailed dialogue is in progress regarding the safeguarding of personal data under the GDPR tailored by the Data Protection Act 2018. CCTV technology is used to gather the required evidence to issue a Penalty Charge Notice to a Driver: this process is strictly regulated and specified by the DfT.
The specific CCTV image capturing technology permitted for this enforcement is also a strictly regulated market by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). While the CCTV is always on, it does not record general daily activities at each site. A recording is only started (for the purposes of PCN evidence packs,) when the technology detects a vehicle performing a preprogramed illegal manoeuvre.
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Division affected: (All Division);
Notice of proposed decision first published: 30/08/2022
Anticipated restriction: Part exempt - View reasons
Decision due: Not before 28th Sep 2022 by Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport
Lead member: Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport
Lead director: Philip Lightowler
Department: Growth, Environment & Transport
Public engagement in line with DfT requirements took place for 8 weeks between March and May 2022.
Cabinet Committee consultation planned:
The proposed decision was considered and endorsed by Members of the Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee at their meeting on 8th September 2022.
Financial implications: As above
Legal implications: As above
Equalities implications: As above