Council fears it will make less money from fines if drivers “wise up” to controversial traffic cameras

By Tara O’Connor, local democracy reporter

Croydon Council fears it will make less money than expected from fines over the next three years if drivers “wise up” to controversial traffic cameras.

The council expects to make £11.6 million over the next three years from fines handed out to drivers for entering restricted zones.

But the authority fears motorists will start avoiding streets with traffic cameras sooner than expected – meaning the council will lose millions in planned income.

The includes low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) and school streets.

This year (2021-22) the council expects to make £5 million from traffic cameras.

But due to there being fewer cars on the road during the pandemic there is currently a £2 million projected shortfall.

At a scrutiny meeting on September 28, Councillor Robert Canning asked: “Is there a risk that the revenue we are predicting for the next three years won’t be obtained because motorists wise up to the restriction and start complying.”

Steve Iles, director of public realm in Croydon, said: “In the short term is a risk, this is factored into the model, it is expected that people will not comply straight away despite all the associated signs, you’ll then find over a period of weeks and months compliance will kick in.

“I can say with school streets that were introduced last year we did see compliance kick in and generally we were issuing 200-300 PCNs per month.

“As you get to half term you do see an increase in PCNs when term starts, that is due to drivers forgetting that the scheme is in place.

“We have factored compliance on all of the schemes that we have, some we have over estimated the compliance but others we have underestimated.”

The amount that Croydon Council expected to make from ANPR cameras reduces over the next three years.

Next year it expects to make £3.1 million with £3.4 million budgeted for 2023-24.

Mr Iles said that any surplus cash goes into funding the Freedom Pass in the borough.

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