Prior to the start of June, offences including driving in a bus lane, making an illegal U-turn and going the wrong way down a one-way street – could only be enforced by the police.
All local councils in England and Wales will be able to apply for the power to fine motorists, from £20 for lower level fines paid promptly, up to £105 for late payment of more serious transgressions, such as parking on a cycle path.
The Government says it expects councils to issue warning notices for first-time offences, before resorting to fining motorists.
Ministers believe the law change may help “improve air quality through reduced traffic congestion”, and “encourage behavioural shift towards sustainable travel choices” by improving bus reliability and making cycling easier and safer.
However, motoring experts have warned that the changes could lead to an “avalanche” of unfair fines if councils do not follow the proper guidance on how to implement and enforce the rules.
It is not clear how many councils might apply for the power but the Government appears to be prepared for large numbers of applications.