Signage at the now scrapped Turnham Green Terrace restriction
Hounslow Council has earned £1.8 million by fining drivers who broke “complicated” new road rules imposed during the pandemic.
The West London council has made £1,879,502 by issuing 44,254 in fines from Low-Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs), a Freedom of Information Request from the Local Democracy Reporting Service has revealed.
The central government funded schemes were introduced in 2020 to make people walk or cycle more and stop cars from driving through residential areas.
Drivers who failed to follow the rules were fined through ANPR cameras monitoring their movements.
Conservative Councillor for Chiswick Sam Hearn said: “People are getting tickets because it’s so complicated for the ordinary people, who just get on with their lives.
“The signs themselves don’t tell you what you need to know, they’ll say ‘access only’, well what does that mean?
“If you’re visiting your relatives you’ll think well I’m just coming to visit my relatives, but if you drive down you’ll get a ticket.
“Of course I agree with the climate emergency, what I don’t agree with is restrictions in the area you live in making you go on long detours.”
Hounslow also introduced a Streetspace scheme during the pandemic, this restricted driver access to certain streets in Chiswick.
Hounslow Green Party spokesperson Jon Elkon said, “As a pure revenue raising exercise we’re not particularly happy with it.
“But we do need, especially in the light of the IPCC report to discourage people from using their cars,
“We need to dissuade people with almost whatever it takes, but with adequate consultation, good planning, and good cooperation.”
Local campaign group Chiswick Appeals set up a website to help drivers appeal against fines.
Their website states, “Often the signs are not clear, and people simply didn’t realise that they could no longer drive down streets they have used all their lives for essential reasons.
“Many have come from other areas and didn’t realise.
“Some of the signs are correct but rarely used or understood, and many are very unfamiliar in urban situations.”
When contacted, the group said they believe the total number of fines is higher than £1.8 million.
Councillor Hanif Khan, cabinet member for traffic and One Hounslow, said, “The overwhelming majority of road users adhere to the rules of the road and obey measures introduced to calm or reduce traffic.
“Like all local authorities, we take enforcement measures against a small minority of drivers who ignore the rules, and any money collected from enforcement fines always goes back into the road network.
“Enforcement is an essential part of maintaining roads that are safe for all our residents, and our roads would be less safe if enforcement measures were abandoned. Drivers who follow the rules will not be fined.
“If there are instances where road users feel they have been fined unfairly, there is an appeals process and Hounslow Council will always make sure enforcement fines are applied fairly and withdrawn where necessary.”
Josh Mellor - Local Democracy Reporter
August 14, 2021