By Grainne Cuffe, Local Democracy Reporter
Lewisham council has slapped with more than £3 million in fines drivers not following its low traffic neighbourhood rules.
The Lewisham and Lee Green LTN, a set of road barriers which aim to reduce through-traffic, was brought in under Covid-19 emergency transport measures in June and has received mixed feedback.
Camera-enforced barriers, which photograph licence plates so the council can send out fines to those who break the rules, are used instead of physical barriers to allow buses through.
They have been placed in four locations throughout the LTN – Ennersdale Road, Dermody Road, Manor Lane, and Manor Park.
Despite the cameras being in place, thousands of drivers drove through the barriers and faced fines of £65 if they paid within two weeks, or £130 after that.
And it has now emerged that the council so far has issued £3.1 million in fines, with about half paid already and the other half owed.
The council has issued 8,248 warning notices and 46,917 penalty charge notices.
Cabinet member for environment and transport, Cllr Sophie McGeevor, said: “The council has received in the region of £1.5m and the outstanding monies owed is approximately £1.6m from penalty charge notices issued in relation to the traffic restrictions in Manor Lane, Manor Park, Dermody Road and Nightingale/Ennersdale Roads.
“The aim of these measures is to ensure that people comply with the closures and it should be noted that since enforcement began at the camera enforced modal filter locations there has been an 86 per cent drop in contraventions.”
The money can only be used within the scope of Government legislation, which means it must go back into transport.
“Under current legislation the application of any surplus is limited to meeting the cost of providing and maintaining parking facilities, highways improvement works (including schemes to improve conditions for walking and cycling), highways maintenance (carriageway and footway), public passenger transport services, such as concessionary fares, the Freedom Pass and the Taxicard scheme, and the costs of anything that has the approval of the Mayor of London and which facilitates the implementation of the Mayor’s transport strategy.
“The council’s spending on these elements has consistently exceeded the surplus of the parking account,” Cllr McGeevor said.
The council recently announced it would be making changes to the LTN to relieve traffic congestion in neighbouring areas.
The changes include allowing vehicles, except HGVs, through the camera-enforced barrier in Manor Lane and adjusting the existing cameras in Ennersdale Road and Dermody Road to allow vehicles to travel one-way west to east.
It’s also likely that Blue Badge holders will be able to register with the council and drive past cameras without being fined.
Pictured top: The LTN has caused controversy, with many people in support of it and many others against
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