Disabled pensioner who fell foul of controversial PCN charged £180

A disabled pensioner who fell foul of a controversial traffic restriction is calling for blue badge holders to be automatically exempt from Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs). 

Michael Mawby, 70, of Howson Road, Brockley, received three consecutive Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) for driving down Dermody Road to get to his dentist off Lee High Road in January.

Each fine cost the former actor £60 but will go up to £130 each if he fails to pay within the month.

Mr Mawby said: “I have been taking this route for 30 years. After I appealed the fine they showed me these faded road markings and said there were signs but I didn’t see any when I drove through it.

“I got the fines in the post a month later and I was flabbergasted – £180 is a lot of money for someone living on a pension.”

A council spokesman said the driving restriction in Dermody Road is “clearly signposted”.

Mr Mawby suffers from COPD and has to carry an Oxygen tank with him 24-hours-a-day.

In Lewisham, where Mr Mawby lives, blue badge holders can apply for an exemption to roads under the council’s LTN scheme. An LTN is a set of road closures with the aim of reducing car use and promoting healthier travel.

Mr Mawby said: “To apply for an exemption you have to know it’s there first. I’ve only found out now I’ve been fined – I didn’t get a letter telling me where it was or how to apply.

“At the age of 70, on a pension and with a disability I shouldn’t have to fight my council about this. They should make all blue badge holders exempt.”

Michael Mawby will face £390 worth of fines if he fails to pay within the month (Picture: Michael Mawby)

The Dermody Road traffic restrictions are particularly controversial among residents.

Lewisham council issued more than 60,000 fines for the roadblock in the first year after it was introduced in 2020, a resident’s Freedom Of Information request revealed.

Lewisham also cancelled more than 27,000 fines for Dermody Road. The council said it cancelled some for people who had received multiple fines.

The figure was about 20 times higher than the road block with the next highest number of fines.  

Mr Mawby described the Dermody Road restrictions as a “cash cow” for the council. 

He said: “It doesn’t make sense as a measure to cut pollution because my alternative route takes me all the way into the centre of Lewisham and round, which means longer journeys and more pollution.”

The council has denied these claims, citing its latest traffic and air quality monitoring data which reports average daily traffic volumes in the area are down 46 per cent on roads where pre-Covid data is available.

A spokesman from Lewisham council said: “Camera-enforced restrictions are used to enforce the Dermody Road modal filter in order to allow for easy access for emergency service vehicles – these are clearly signed.

“Contraventions in this location have continued to fall, with a 24 per cent drop in PCNs between 2022 and 2023.

“We are reviewing this case to identify whether the resident is eligible for a Blue Badge exemption permit. If they are, the PCNs will be cancelled.”

Pictured top: Dermody Road in Lewisham/Michael Mawby (Picture: Grainne Cuffe/Michael Mawby)

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