The London Borough of Hackney has provided another example of how councils are extracting cash from motorists by putting in timed road closures. Other examples were in Croydon around schools and in the City of London at Bank Junction – covered in previous blog posts. In Hackney it is the banning of a left turn off Mare Street into Richmond Road but only during busy times of day. Many drivers have failed to notice the signs and the result has been that 6,500 fines were issued in one month. More information available from the Hackney Gazette here: http://www.hackneygazette.co.uk/news/hackney-council-issues-6-500-fines-in-one-month-to-drivers-after-mare-street-left-turn-ban-1-5646504
The intention was to reduce traffic past a school and reduce congestion, but such closures are a nightmare for drivers as Satnavs typically are not aware of the timing restrictions. The signs are very easy to miss.
Comment: I suggest that the Government needs to lay down some rules on such closures so as to stop this corruption of the road network. It is clearly a very strong financial incentive for councils to generate money in this way knowing how stretched their budgets are at present. One solution would be to legislate to ensure that councils could not retain the revenue from fines imposed by automated camera enforcement of such restrictions. In the meantime, local residents and drivers who get caught by such arrangements need to kick up a stink, and vote off the councillors who support such schemes.
Note that we do make formal objections to such schemes when we become aware of them in London, but sometimes we do not know about them until it is too late. Please let us know if you discover plans for such schemes as soon as possible.
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