Exclusive: Southwark Council rakes in £2.5 million from four LTN cameras in Dulwich and Walworth in first three months of issuing fines

Katherine Johnston (07 April, 2021)

The local authority has also announced new exemption for Blue Badge holders

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

Southwark Council raked in £2.5 million in fixed penalty charges from LTN cameras in Dulwich and Walworth in its first three months of issuing fines.

Freedom of Information requests show the staggering income generated by three cameras in the Dulwich Low Traffic Neighbourhood and just one camera in Walworth’s Manor Place-Braganza Street.

Although cameras were welcomed as a ‘smarter’ alternative to road blocks and planters, and supported by emergency services as well as residents, they have now led to an astronomical number of fines being handed out.

In Dulwich Village, between January 11 and February 28, 2021 – when the council first started issuing fines – Southwark Council has issued an incredible 22,424 penalties.

If every single one of these had been paid early at £65, then the council has netted a total of £1,457,560 in just seven weeks.

A spokesperson for the Dulwich Alliance, a coalition of groups representing thousands of residents, some 150 shops and businesses and GP surgeries, described the amount of fines as “eye-watering and clearly not sustainable or acceptable”.

Meanwhile in Walworth, 29,530 penalty charge notices were issued to motorists captured driving through contraventions in Braganza Street from November 25 to the end of January, to a value of £1,018,160 within just two months.

After a report by this newspaper detailing huge three and four figure fines wracked up by unwitting drivers in Walworth, many of whom said they were left on the breadline by COVID-19, Tooley Street later pledged to cap multiple fines from Manor Place at three; with the first ticket cancelled if a warning notice was not received beforehand.

However, the new data shows that only seventeen per cent of the Walworth fines handed out so far have been successfully appealed, even though ward councillors admitted in January that the signage had ‘not been good enough’.

The fines come at a time when residents have just been informed their council tax is due to rise by 4.99 per cent, and the council’s budget is facing a £43 million black hole in its finances due to COVID-19 and pressure on its services.

In 2019 then-finance chief at Southwark Council, Cllr Victoria Mills, denied the local authority was actively pursuing a roll out of controlled parking zones (CPZs) in order to boost its coffers.

That year’s budget listed five million extra expected to be generated by ‘fees and charges’ – now seeming like a drop in the ocean compared to the millions the council could generate from low emissions zones and low traffic neighbourhoods over the entire year.

The News asked Southwark Council what was being done to improve signage, why so few appeals had been successful in this period, and whether it had budgeted for this dramatic rise in income.

Cllr Catherine Rose, cabinet member for leisure, environment and roads, told us on Tuesday: “We introduced LTNs to help keep residents safe.

“We want to support social distancing and safe walking and cycling, by reducing through traffic and improving air quality.

“Many of our camera enforced LTNs were introduced in response to conversations with the emergency services and by listening to what local residents wanted.

“All of our LTN signs meet statutory regulations, and in some locations we have gone over and above what is required. We are continuing to listen and make improvements. Timed restrictions are a key way to manage traffic flows through neighbourhoods.  We will consult on all LTNs and invite residents and traders to help us shape safer, greener streets.”

 

READ MORE: Outrage in Walworth over ‘three and four figure fines’ racked up in Walworth 

READ MORE: To us they are street openings not street closures – supporters on why they back low emissions neighbourhoods

 

New exemption for Blue Badges

The council has quietly announced an exemption for blue badge holders who live within the Walworth and Dulwich Low Traffic Neighbourhood trial areas.

An update to the council confirmed the change would take effect from April 6, 2021.

It says: “LTNs are designed to make residential streets safer, encourage people to walk and cycle more and reduce air pollution.

“However, in the course of our work listening to the people who live in the Dulwich Village and Walworth LTN trials, we have learned that Blue Badge holders may be disproportionately impacted by the schemes.

“Blue Badge holders often have reduced mobility, which can make walking and cycling much more difficult.

“In the interest of equality and in response to our residents, we are therefore inviting Blue Badge holders to register for an exemption.

“The exemption is to allow blue badge holders living in the LTN to travel with ease in their local area.

“Access to every property within the LTN remains available at all times for all road users.”

For more information visit:
www.southwark.gov.uk/parking/disabled-parking/

 

Contribute
David Michaelson says:

This So-called Dulwich Alliance claims to have thousands of members, yet it and One Dulwich provide no proof when asked.
It’s probably just a few disgruntled individuals who are angry they have to drive a couple of minutes more in their Chelsea tractors to take Tristan and Genevieve to school.
Poor deals.

diana says:

Just one big cash cow … I thought that had been banned

sokol says:

Drive a company van.
Received 15 fines at once 36 days after the first offense on Burbage road.First offense on 12 January, penalty issued 20 January Northgate Hire company paid the fine and informed my company on 8February and I was notified on 18 February.
I did drive at roundabout approach ED during this time at restricted time without been ware at all and driving at 4.30-5.00 pm on the dark did not help me at all.The fines reached £1275 including admin fees.
I did appeal but have not heard anything yet.
I am mentally and financially at wits end

Mark says:

I think the signs were put up in October and obviously disregarded by many driver. I think 3 months is adequate time to figure out new routines and adjust driving behaviour. I guess some need to know there is a penalty before they change.
Anyways, I hope the scheme is expanded and not just localised or concentrated in SE1. Bring some love to SE16. ? And if I could suggest a barrier either at SE16 4DS or SE16 4DF ?

will stableford says:

I spoke to councilor Rose at a Zoom meeting for residents about the signs that so many people drive through after visiting Dulwich Village north bound and warning dozens of drivers. The signs are blue and too confusing to be immediately understood by drivers. She said that the council is encouraging a modal shift and that most drivers fined were now from outside the area. She showed no sympathy for those that have been fined or interest in my points. I was muted at that point by the chair.

MT says:

It’s hard to have sympathy for people deliberately ignoring signs when they’ve have months to get used to them.

Clint says:

No mention of all the vehicles ignoring the no entry sign and travelling the wrong way up Great Suffolk Street? I for one will not be buying my coffee from Terry’s ever again.
It’s also a shame that Southwark News has decided to misrepresent LTNs when the majority of people support these measures.

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