Editors’ View: £2.5 million in fines just a few weeks is clearly ridiculous

(07 April, 2021)

Residents and motorists will be asking how the council plans to reduce the number of fines handed out - and whether it is a real priority

39569A planter. The physical barriers have, in some cases, been replaced with camera operated restrictions (c) Sebastian Garraway

Camera operated road restrictions were one of the suggestions put forward by residents both for, against, and on the fence for low traffic and low emissions neighbourhoods. The key benefit is that they improve access for emergency and key services.

Whatever your opinion on the sweeping road changes brought in under emergency COVID-19 legislation, there have obviously been communication difficulties from the offset.

The sheer number of fines handed out for driving through poorly signed zones – around £2.5 million in just a few cameras in Dulwich and Walworth in a few weeks alone – is ridiculous. Something has obviously gone very wrong.

News that there is a new exemption for people living within the zones who are disabled badge holders will be far more welcome to many of our readers.

Importantly, the schemes are still in a trial stage and data on how well they have fared in reducing pollution, congestion and encouraging more active travel will be shared in the coming months.

What residents and motorists will be asking next is how the council plans to reduce the number of fines handed out – and whether it is a real priority.

Amid the ongoing debate about low traffic schemes last week’s front page calling for a tram system in Southwark is a timely reminder why focusing on new public transport – the type that actually works for car users – is so important.

If the changes to our streets are here to stay, perhaps a greater focus on accessible, quick to implement, new modes of public transport – like trams – would make a bigger impact and turn the increasingly bitter debate about low traffic schemes into a more positive public discussion.

READ MORE: Southwark Council rakes in £2.5 million in fines from Dulwich and Walworth LTN cameras in just three months

Tom says:

I love the LTNs. Keep them!

Mark says:

Questions not answered in the piece are:
1 Are the road signs clear? If there are blue circles with a motorbike over a car then yes. They’ve added silly planter boarders as well so can’t see why a driver might have missed it.
2. How long have the signs been up before the camera citations started being posted? If it was a few months then it is likely the infraction was on purpose and not unknowingly done.

The fact that it’s £2.5 MILLION IN FINES JUST A FEW WEEKS means that some drivers are CLEARLY breaking the law for a shortcut and thought they could continue to get away with it. Why?

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