London News & Search
Motorists have slammed a London council after it pushed through plans to permanently install a controversial traffic calming scheme that has raked in more than £3m in fines in just nine months.
Kingston Council first installed a traffic camera as part of a trial calming scheme in November last year, but were soon accused of “money-grabbing” after more than £500,000-worth in fines were issued in its first week.
More than 50,000 fines have been issued in Surbiton Crescent since, meaning the council has raised a whopping £3,255,915.
Drivers passing through the bollards receive a minimum fine of £65, which can rise to £195 if not paid within 28 days.
Residents have criticised the scheme as being badly signposted and called on the council to scrap the traffic-calming measure.
Kingston Council voted to make the scheme permanent in June, but furious residents forced another vote on the scheme after presenting a petition to the council this week.
But councillors refused to back down over the scheme, saying the road forms an “essential link” in its mini-Holland cycling plans.
Community campaigner James Giles, who presented the petition, said: “It is incredibly disappointing that the council did not listen to residents.
“Why it should be necessary for cyclists to have 100 metres of quiet road followed by bumper-to-bumper hell caused by the scheme? Despite time being available to set up a panel to review the whole fiasco, the administration decided to press ahead regardless.
“Do they think motorists want a £65 fine? Do they think that motorists are trying to flout the law? Almost 50,000 motorists cannot be wrong – surely alarm bells must have been ringing somewhere?”
The camera has been introduced as part of plans by the council to install cycle routes across the borough as part of the City hall funded mini-Holland scheme – officially called GoCycle.
The council did say that it would consider new designs for the road layout, to make sure the restriction was “clear and robust”.
Deputy Council leader Terry Paton said: “Surbiton Crescent forms an essential link in to the Kingston to Surbiton Go Cycle project.
“Following a full debate, the council has resolved to continue with the introduction of a permanent scheme in Surbiton Crescent, one of the 10 linked projects in Kingston.
“A permanent scheme may include permanent traffic islands and associated road layout, illuminated signage, additional directional signage and removal of the existing enforcement cameras in the area.”
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