'Cash cow' outrage at council's £6m road fine bonanza

'Cash cow' outrage at council's £6m road fine bonanza

01/23/2023

‘Cash cow’ outrage at council’s £6m road fine bonanza from low-traffic neighbourhoods scheme

  • A Labour-run authority has been accused of using motorists as ‘cash cows’
  • More than 300 LTNs have been set up or are pending in the UK 

A Labour-run authority has been accused of using motorists as ‘cash cows’ during the cost of living crisis by bringing in low-traffic neighbourhoods.

Haringey Council could earn an eye-watering £6.1million in fines across four months from two schemes set up in August.

Drivers in the St Ann’s area of the north London borough were hit with 32,620 penalty charge notices by November 22 after being caught by cameras driving down seven restricted roads.

The council has received £949,390 from these PCNs so far but if the £130 fines are paid in full it would pocket more than £4.2million. Drivers in Bounds Green, where there are ten roads with restricted access, were hit with 14,758 PCNs by late November, Freedom of Information requests show.

 A Labour-run authority has been accused of using motorists as ‘cash cows’ during the cost of living crisis by bringing in low-traffic neighbourhoods

Haringey Council could earn an eye-watering £6.1million in fines across four months from two schemes set up in August

The authority has received £541,905 so far but if it is paid in full, more than £1.9million would flow into its coffers.

Fines are halved if drivers pay in two weeks but if the fee is not paid on time, the cost rises to £195.

The low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) were introduced on a trial basis for up to 18 months to make residential streets quieter.

But locals complain they have led to huge rises in traffic and increased journey times.

Ivy Kalli, 62, who lives within the St Ann’s scheme, was hit with 27 PCNs simply for driving on her own road.

The mobile hairdresser said: ‘I am allowed in and out but I received a warning so I stopped driving through the road.’

But when she returned from holiday on October 17, there were 27 letters from the council on her mat demanding nearly £4,000 in fines.

Planter barriers  form an LTN (Low Traffic Neighbourhood), a road closure feature by Southwark Council preventing motorists from accessing the junction of Carlton Avenue and Dulwich Village. Restrictions also prevent traffic from passing through at morning and afternoon rush-hour times in the borough of Southwark, on 1st November 2022, in London, England

More than 300 LTNs have been set up or are pending in the UK

Let-off for speeding drivers 

Thousands of drivers caught speeding in December could escape fines or points due to postal strike delays, a leading motoring lawyer has warned.

Some letters took weeks to be delivered during Royal Mail strikes last month – and if speeding culprits can demonstrate they do not receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) within 14 days of their alleged offences, their cases are likely to be thrown out.

Nick Freeman, known as ‘Mr Loophole’ for helping celebrity clients such as David Beckham escape driving bans, told the Telegraph ‘the system needs to be changed and urgently’ so that NIPs for speeding can be sent out by text and email.

Nick Freeman, known as ‘Mr Loophole’ for helping celebrity clients such as David Beckham escape driving bans, told the Telegraph ‘the system needs to be changed and urgently’ so that NIPs for speeding can be sent out by text and email

‘I was panicking,’ Miss Kalli said. ‘I struggle with arthritis and I was struggling to take my tablets I was that stressed.

‘I was getting ratty and couldn’t sleep with this hanging over my head.’ After complaints, her fines were cancelled.

Another hard-hit resident Tracey Elwood, 64, said: ‘It’s not fair that the roads behind us are quiet and have no cars when our road is jam-packed from 7am until 8pm. They are sacrificing us while the others are having a great time.

‘I can’t go anywhere because I am stuck in traffic for half-an-hour before I’ve even left the area.’

Howard Cox, founder of the FairFuelUK campaign group, said: ‘Local authorities see honest tax-paying motorists and sole traders as pure cash cows.’

He called for the control of roads to be taken away from local councils as they were ‘clueless’.

Haringey residents were also angry at leaked emails showing the council proposed using income from LTNs and other penalties to plug a budget gap.

These made up 88 per cent of its £6.49million savings prediction for 2023/24.

More than 300 LTNs have been set up or are pending in the UK.

A Haringey Council spokesman said it was engaging with residents and would not hesitate to make changes to ‘get this right’.

‘I was panicking and couldn’t sleep’

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