Motorists have been left fuming after a new traffic enforcement camera means they have been stung for almost a million pounds in just two months.
Hackney Council banned drivers from turning left from Mare Street onto Richmond Road in east London in June in a bid to reduce pollution at a nearby school.
But by August 10, the authority had dished out nearly 14,000 fines – leaving countless people out of pocket.
With the cost of a fine standing at £65 if paid within two weeks, the council has generated a whopping £898,235 for itself in a nine-week period.
This works out at nearly £100,000 every week – or £14,000 a day.
One 74-year-old Islington Council worker – who has been using the junction for 30 years – has been slapped with 21 tickets, totalling £1,365.
The country’s highest earning speed camera only made a comparatively low £1.5 million – or £250,000 a month – in the six months between April and October 2016, despite being located on London’s busy North Circular Road.
Residents have vented their frustrations at Hackney Council’s perceived money-grabbing tactics.
One said: ‘This restriction is poorly conveyed (judging by the amount of PCNs [penalty charge notices] issued and the number of repeat PCNs), and is definitely not in the spirit of the law, regardless of whether the signage meets the standard required or not.’
Another added: ‘Councillors will be giving themselves a big pat on the back for that, oh and a big payrise.
‘Just a thought here, if they put more of these signs around the borough to catch people out, could we have a council tax reduction please.’
This was back in June; no tree. Sign unobstructed . Arguments that it was too high.
— Lundun Feeldz ()
The changes to the junction follow the introduction of a ‘school street’ outside nearby London Fields Primary School.
RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: ‘While some drivers will knowingly ignore streets signs like this, the vast majority wouldn’t do so intentionally.
‘The number of fines being given to drivers at this junction suggests something is wrong – and it might well be that the sheer amount of signage and a difficult road layout is to blame.
‘The sign is immediately past a busy pedestrian crossing and between two sections of bus lane on Mare Street.
‘A driver would have just moments to read all the traffic signs and decide whether they were permitted to turn left.
‘And unlike on a straight section of road, they would have no opportunity to correct the manoeuvre if they then realised their mistake.
‘We would like to see the council being innovative in introducing digital bus lane signage that makes it much clearer – perhaps by means of red and green LEDs – for motorists to see if they can use a certain stretch of road.
‘A review of all the street signage around the junction would also be very welcome.’
A Hackney Council spokesman said: ‘The changes to this junction are part of our pioneering school streets initiative which is improving air quality and making it easier and safer for families to walk and cycle to and from school.
‘The notices already meet all Department for Transport requirements, and we have now added additional signage to ensure all drivers comply and help make our children’s school journeys healthier.
‘While it is the responsibility of drivers to read this signage and adhere to the road closures, we will of course listen to representations where a driver feels that a fine has been issued unfairly or received multiple fines during a short period.’