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Drivers fined £3m for breaking Lewisham Council’s low-traffic neighbourhood
I’m glad to hear I wasn’t the only one…
Response from the Ella Roberta Family Foundation:
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I’m quite interested in what the ‘Camera-enforced barriers’ actually look like.
There’s a pic of one in this article showing the Railton Road one. I think the signs are pretty clear.
I’ll give an update if I get a response from my FOI
That’s an astonishing 46,000 people who ignored a ‘Road Closed’ sign and ‘No Entry’ signs with Cameras. I’d be interested to see how many cameras there actually are, on how many roads over how much time. This seems like a lot.
Having said that I think cameras are better than bollards for obvious reasons. The next step is to figure out how to allow residents in and out so they can use cars when needed at any time. We need better solutions than just photographing everyone. Cameras + LTN resident database to prevent rat runs. Even more sophisticated could be timers to allow all cars in but not out (e.g. for FH Sainsbury’s car park access to disable the rat run round the back of the Circular)
46000 events, not people… I bet the rate of multiple offences is high, particularly with how long Lewisham might take to send out the letter and how localised the issue is. There might be people out there having generated fines of £1K before they even knew they would actually be fined.
Yes indeed - good point. A few people will get some nasty surprises. I don’t think ‘I didn’t believe you meant it when you put up a camera icon next to the road closed no entry sign so I thought I’d give it a go’ is a defence though.
Is there not a question as to who should pay for these cameras? It is unlikely that any of the 46,000 are likely to reoffend so Lewisham will find that cameras will not generate a lot of revenue in the future. They are expensive.
The current policy for traffic management where there is congestion is to use a Controlled Parking Zone which all the residents have to pay for. Many people would see this as fair that those who benefit, pay for the zone. Camera Controlled Zones will do something similar without any cost to the residents while probably increasing their wealth in some cases through higher house prices.
There is now going to be a push from the well organised for cameras which will overly benefit the immediate residents which we all have to pay for.
I think many people value clean air and there probably are a lot of people who would be willing to pay more council tax if the council was able to reduce the congestion and pollution where they live. At the same time, there could be a pollution discount for those whose area has had displaced pollution. This would incentivise the council to have fair policies as if they get the balance wrong, they lose money, if they get it right, they are making more money.
Agreed - I think using CPZ sign up as a database for exclusion from the camera fines is a good solution. You pay for parking and you’re allowed in and out of your zone. Instantly stops rat runs with almost no admin, and just the cost of the cameras. Yes they cost money to maintain but they should be a deterrent not a revenue generating opportunity. It’s like a cheaper automated policeman on the beat.
I don’t think there is any issue with camera enforced CPZs. It is probably cheaper than paying for wardens which in Lewisham don’t seem to have any effect. People pay for a CPZ so it is reasonable to expect them to get something for their money.
I think the question is, should we be giving the equivalent of a CPZ and its benefits for free to some residents while those outside are getting extra pollution and congestion for free?
A pollution/congestion discount on council tax for residents would incentivise the council not to just shift pollution around between streets. It would help to enforce a more data driven/proof based approach to schemes. I think at the moment there is no objective judgement on schemes just opinion.
If only there were some way to tie this to annual miles driven. VED is simply correlated to your engine size, not how much you pollute and driving out of town is not the same as driving in town: using your annual MOT to calculate mileage wouldn’t necessarily be fair either. If there were more cameras with ANPR you could fairly accurately model how far people drive in town and how frequently, then charge based off of that, but I think any kind of scheme like that would be almost as unpopular as extending the CC zone.
I wouldn’t see this as measuring personal car usage. I would see it as measuring pollution in an area. There are 55% of people locally who don’t drive and then a lot of people who have a car but prefer to cycle and walk. We need to look at how the council can have an incentive to serve these residents.
Extending the CC and ULEZ is unpopular for various reasons but it is not within Lewisham’s control. I think a discount on council tax for pollution would be popular and is something the council would have some control over. If the council failed an area consistently, they would lose money and do something whereas currently it seems to be blaming the victim, they turn around and say pay a few hundred pounds a year and we will keep other cars out which many people can’t afford.