London Councils and TfL Make Millions from Yellow Box Junctions

The BBC have been investigating the revenue that London councils make from fines on drivers who infringe yellow box junctions. The use of cameras to enforce these junctions has caused the figures to grow rapidly. For example one junction in Fulham has earned the council £2.4m in PCNs in 18 months.

The London Councils with the top income from this source are Hammersmith & Fulham with £2.1m and Waltham Forest with £1.7m in a year. Kingston, Hounslow and Barnet are also high but Transport for London control some junctions and they made £884,891 from Homerton High Street/Fire Station alone. More information was provided by the BBC in the BBC London Inside Out programme, no doubt available from i-Player. It showed how some junctions create enormous driver frustration, and road rage, because it simply is not possible to avoid infringement at some (particularly where no traffic lights are present), or it is easy to accidentally infringe.

Comment: This is a pernicious fund raising system (yet another such scheme in addition to those covered in our last newsletter). Some years ago there was a study done of the benefits of box junction enforcement and in fact it showed that traffic flows were reduced as drivers were hesitant to enter.

There are clearly also some junctions where the traffic has particular problems because of the design of the junction or because of traffic lights before or after the junction. If in doubt whether your case merited a fine, you should go to appeal – as this writer has done more than once successfully because as a normally law abiding driver I do not appreciate being issued with a fine. But regrettably many people simply pay up.

The rule about box junctions is simple. You should not enter it unless your exit is clear. But as one commentator said, if there is a lot of infringement then the council concerned should look at the design. Unfortunately they have no incentive to do this and no overriding authority that can instruct them to behave more appropriately.

Roger Lawson

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