By Grainne Cuffe, local democracy reporter
A money-spinning road restriction has had its signs changed – but only after it netted millions for a town hall.
Lewisham council has changed the signage around a modal filter within a low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) after it issued more than 17,000 fines to drivers in four months.
It comes as a resident’s Freedom of Information request showed that the particular filter in Dermody Road was responsible for far more fines than any other one (17,508) in the scaled back Lewisham and Lee Green LTN.
The PCNs would have brought in between £1,138,020 and £2,276,040, depending on whether they were paid within two weeks or not (£65 v £130).
Residents, who said the signs were inadequate, accused the council of using the modal filter as a “cash cow”, instead of trying to prevent drivers from going through.
Last week the council increased the size of the signs, painted ‘no motor vehicles’ on the road, and added a new sign warning drivers approaching the road.
There are five camera-enforced modal filters in place since the LTN was scaled back in November.
The filter with the next highest number of fines issued between November 11, 2020, and March 17, 2021, is Ennersdale Road with 863, Manor Lane follows with 171 and Manor Park after that with 153.
In response to the FOI, the council said it had issued no fines to drivers going through the Leahurst Road modal filter between the two dates, though there has since been a problem with the camera and fines have been issued in error.
Lewisham said any fines issued have been cancelled and drivers who have paid them will “automatically receive a refund”.
A Lewisham Council spokesperson said: “Since the signs were installed in November 2020 there has been a significant drop in contraventions which demonstrates that the majority of drivers are seeing the signage and are aware of restrictions.
“In areas where concerns have been raised about signage we have listened to feedback and made the signage more prominent.”
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