Cyclists have been given a boost today as local authorities have been given new tools to crack down on the misuse of cycle lanes by motorists.

The plans, announced by Cycling Minister Chris Heaton-Harris, will allow councils to use CCTV to issue penalty charge notices to drivers who park or load illegally in cycle lanes.

The move is designed to help keep cyclists safe who would normally be forced to move into the flow of traffic to navigate around stationary vehicles.

Cycling Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “Across the country there has been a surge in the number of people dusting off their old bike from the back of the shed and cycling, or taking journeys on foot, to get from A to B.

“Giving local authorities more powers to stop cycle lanes from becoming blocked will make it safer for cyclists. These new measures also build on our recent £2bn investment to create a green, healthier legacy and see more people travelling by bicycle or on foot.”

The announcement is also designed to get more cyclists onto the road and ease pressure on the road network, especially with more commuters returning to work. A recent study found that social distancing measures on public transport could lead to a million more cars on the roads in England and Wales.

FInes for motorists parking their cars in the lanes are set to be a maximum of £130 in London, and £70 elsewhere.

The news follows the Transport Secretary’s announcement of a £2bn package for cycling and walking last month to help create a greener transport network. This included £22m for local authorities in England to create pop up cycle lanes with protected space for cycling, wider pavements, safer junctions and bike and bus-only corridors.