London speed camera in ‘low traffic area’ nets £1M in fines in just 18 months
Angry drivers have had to shell out nearly £1million in fines in just 18 months because of a traffic camera, even though the device and warning signs are said to be not obvious.
The purpose of the traffic camera, which was installed by Islington Council in north London last year, was to prevent motorists from driving on a low traffic neighborhood (LTN) street.
The projects include ephemeral bike lanes, wider sidewalks and streets closed to cars. The new rules are enforced using warning signs and CCTV cameras.
Furious drivers went on a rampage, claiming the device was barely visible, as one told The Sun: “I didn’t know it was there because the frame of the planters (pots of flowers on the road) was so wide and the signage so high.”
Angry drivers have had to fork out nearly £1million in fines in just 18 months because of a traffic camera, even though the device and warning signs are said not to be obvious
Via a freedom of information request, the newspaper revealed that the camera had has imposed £900,000 in fines of £130 since it was set up in 2021.
Rakhia Ismail, chair of the Islington Conservatives, said: ‘Making so much money off one camera, especially in the midst of a cost of living crisis, is truly shameful.
“They are picking the pockets of vulnerable residents who are already struggling.
“They are only interested in the money, not how it affects local people.”
But Rowena Champion, transport spokesperson for Islington Council, said: ‘We are committed to creating a cleaner, greener and healthier borough where it is easier for everyone to travel.
The purpose of the traffic camera, which was installed by council in Islington, north London last year, was to prevent motorists driving down a low traffic neighborhood street
“We are working hard to ensure that signage is adequate, unambiguous and in line with regulations, to warn drivers in advance.
“Through the Friendly Streets scheme, the council is making it easier to walk, cycle, scooter and use pushchairs and wheelchairs for the 70% of households who do not own a car.”
This comes on the heels of the revelation that Lambeth Council in south London imposed nearly £22million in fines in low-traffic areas in a year.
Meanwhile, at the end of May, it was revealed that a single set of traffic cameras in the City of London had racked up an astonishing £15.2million in penalties over three years.
Bank Junction, bordered by the Bank of England, the Royal Exchange and Mansion House, has been restricted to buses and cyclists only from 7am to 7pm since 2017 – with fines of £130 for wrongdoers, reduced to £65 if they are paid within 14 days.
But thousands of motorists didn’t get it, with a mind-boggling £3.2million haul in 2021 equaling 40% of those fines in the Square Mile, Access Applications have revealed information from Bloomberg.
Although takings have collapsed by nearly half from 2019 – when she raised £6.16m, followed by £5.78m in 2020 – it’s still one of the most lucrative traffic in the capital.
Bank Junction was once heavily used by motorists but there are now signs warning drivers to use alternative routes – although many who have been fined complain the warnings are still not obvious enough .
The LTNs have created deep divisions within communities. Some fiercely oppose the regimes while others support
FOI data also showed that other major junctions in London which restrict certain types of vehicles have also become major sources of revenue for local authorities, with those in Newham, Hackney, Enfield and Lambeth collecting a total of 57 million of pounds sterling.
Newham alone has raised over £33million in 2020 and 2021 after introducing a series of restrictions.
Out of town, the highest-grossing hub in 2021 was Browning Road North in Newham, which fetched £2.43m; followed by Pritchard’s Road in Hackney – £1.39m; Culmington Road in Ealing – £960,000 and Meadway N14, Enfield – £820,000.
Local authorities say the restrictions reduce pollution and help fund essential services, including road maintenance.
A spokesman for the City of London company said any excess generated from fines was “reserved by law for motorways and transport-related activities such as resurfacing”.
It was reported in May that motorists in the capital had been hit with a whopping 755,098 fines worth a total of nearly £33.6million in the year since April last year for violating the new traffic rules within the framework of low traffic districts.
Paramedics had to wait up to 20 minutes to get to a patient who had collapsed in a lane because their ambulance was blocked by new bollards installed as part of the council’s traffic scheme in Ealing, in West London.
Matthieu, 13, and his family are among those who have been negatively affected by TNL.
‘[Matthieu] has a rare genetic disease, ”explained his other Elodie. ‘He is profoundly deaf and has an ASD [Autism spectrum disorder]. He has severe and complex needs and is very cognitively retarded.
Despite Matthieu’s difficulties, Elodie and her husband, along with Matthieu’s two older siblings, ensure that the boy has as full and rich a life as possible. This includes being picked up by car every morning from his home in Islington, north London, to his school for special needs children in nearby Camden.
The four mile trip took 25 minutes. It now takes up to 50 minutes in slow, sometimes solid traffic.
“He doesn’t understand sitting in traffic and gets very agitated and gets aggressive because he’s in distress,” Elodie said.
A few weeks ago, an 11-mile round trip – from school to a hospital appointment and then back home – took three hours.
Elodie shakes her head trying to explain the effect this has had on the family.
“Matthew is non-verbal. It’s very distressing to see your child upset at the best of times, but when you ask him, he can’t verbalize it. It’s hard.’
Elodie thought the bad traffic was the result of LTNs in Islington, as shown in the diagram cars banned from certain secondary streets and forced to travel only on main roads.