More than 300 drivers are abusing restrictions on a High Wycombe town centre road every day, cameras have revealed – as the council tries to get tough on those brazenly breaking the rules.

Buckinghamshire Council is set to apply to become one of the first outside London to take on enforcement of moving traffic offences from the police after launching trial ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras on certain roads to monitor just how many drivers are breaking the rules.

Roads on the list included Castle Street, near Primark in High Wycombe, where drivers breaking the ‘buses only’ rules regularly come face to face with the public transport vehicles, and Corporation Street, which is only for buses and taxis.

Fed up shoppers and High Wycombe residents have long complained about drivers flouting the rules – and the council’s camera trial revealed just how bad the problem really is.

On average, 381 drivers abused the Castle Street restrictions, and an average of 480 per day were caught on camera flouting the Corporation Street rules.

The council also installed a camera on Marlow Bridge amid many years of complaints about overweight cars, vans and lorries driving over the weight-restricted Thames crossing – which revealed heavy vehicles were abusing the rules 97 times a day on average.

However, Marlovians won’t be pleased to hear that the rules have changed since the trial camera on Marlow Bridge was installed, and now these cameras cannot be used to enforce structural weight limits, so the council won’t be continuing with that plan at this stage.

While the trial only took place in a few locations, there are a number of other roads that could have cameras installed if the council’s bid to the Department for Transport is successful.

Two other locations in High Wycombe are on the list – the ‘school keep clear’ area in Hamilton Road, outside the Royal Grammar School, and the box junction on Marlow Hill close to School Close.

Other “problem areas” on the list are the ‘no right turn’ areas on Gore Hill, near Fieldway, and Whielden Lane in Amersham, and the ‘no U-turn’ area at the A413 Amersham Road junction with Pipers Wood.

In Chalfont St Peter, the ‘school keep clear’ area outside Thorpe House School in Oval Way also features, and in Chesham, the pedestrian zone in the High Street also suffers with vehicles driving through it.

The box junction on Packhorse Road at the junction with Station Road, the ‘no U-turn area’ on Uxbridge Road, close to Black Park Road in Wexham and two streets in Buckingham also feature (High Street and Well Street), as well as the ‘no right turn’ from Mandeville Road in Aylesbury into the back of Asda.

It will cost around £276,000 to buy the 16 required mobile cameras to monitor the initial 14 locations, but Bucks Council said taking the powers away from the police would free up their time for more pressing matters, would improve the reliability of public transport, increase safety and reduce congestion.  

Transport chief Cllr Steve Broadbent said at the council’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning the data from Corporation Street and Castle Street proves there are “significant problems” that need tackling.

He said: “We’ll have a smoother flowing road network, hopefully a much safer network because often where drivers are making manoeuvres that they shouldn’t be, it causes a conflict with more vulnerable road users like pedestrians and we want to eliminate that.”

While the Department for Transport requires the council to provide a specific list of “problem” areas they want to target, Cllr Broadbent said they are seeking the powers to eventually bring it to the entire county.

He added: “The idea of this is to change driver behaviour not to simply have this as any kind of revenue raising scheme, but of course revenue will go towards offsetting the cost of the cameras and the operation of them.”