Number plate recognition devices already bringing in significant revenue
More ANPR cameras to be installed
Ealing Council has already issued near 6,000 Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) since they started camera enforcement of Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) scheme restrictions.
A Freedom of Information (FoI) request by a local resident has revealed that 5,920 PCNs have been issued since 7 December 2020 up to 11 January 2021.
If all these fines were paid at their full face value this would bring in over £750,000 in revenue although drivers will get a discount if they pay promptly and many are expected to appeal on the grounds of inadequate or misleading signage.
Some residents are accusing the council of using purportedly environmental measures as a way of boosting its income and point out that the amount of income deriving from the cameras is a disincentive to remove them even if an LTN is shown not to be achieving its stated aim.
The fine given to anyone caught by an ANPR camera is £130 or £65 if paid within 14 days. The council said earlier that the majority of contraventions to date come from vehicles registered outside the borough and that enforcement will help it collect the most accurate data on the trial schemes to help decide the future of each LTN.
The FoI request asked for the number of fines and warning notices issued by automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras in LTN 30 (Loveday), LTN 35 (Mattock) and LTN 21 (West Ealing South).
Over half the 5,920 PCNs have been issued by the camera on Culmington Road (3,433) with most of the rest from the one situated at Elers Road (1,683).
In LTN 21 136 fines have been given out for passing through the Grosvenor Road/Oakland Road junction, 167 for passing through Leighton Road/Coldershaw Road and 501 for Leighton Road/Seaford Road giving a total of 804 for the scheme.
The council confirmed that they stopped issuing warning notices on 7 December and no ANPR fines have been issued in LTN 35.
Ealing Council switched these sites from physical barriers to camera enforcement after criticism of their failure initially to consult with emergency services. London Ambulance Service in particular were hampered in their operations because crews did not have the necessary keys to lower the bollards. The video below shows an ambulance getting stuck at the Coldershaw Rd/Midhurst Rd/Leighton Rd junction inside LTN21 Northfields on Sunday, 17 January due to their vehicle not being able to fit through the planters. An ANPR camera is already installed at this location.
The borough now plans to significantly expand camera enforcement across LTNs with 21 cameras to be installed to replace bollards.
Local residents are raising concerns about what they say is inadequate signage for the ANPR enforced restriction with some entry points giving little indication that the road ahead is not available to motor vehicles. It has been pointed out that the non-statutory green ‘Road Open’ signs designed to indicate that there is continued access for pedestrians and cyclists can be confusing to drivers unfamiliar with them. Also the lack of illumination of some of the signs means that they are likely to be missed at night time.
Claim made that signage is confusing drivers
A spokesperson for Ealinc Council said, “Low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) are designed to limit heavy and non-local traffic using quieter streets as short-cuts and through-roads. So far, 99 out of every 100 penalty charge notices (PCNs) handed out as part of our enforcement of the trial schemes during December 2020, were issued to drivers who live outside of that LTN. To date, 60% of PCNs have been issued to drivers who do not live in the borough.
"Income from penalty notices is ring-fenced and used to pay for the borough road safety and traffic management measures and concessionary travel schemes."
“Following close dialogue with residents and emergency services, we replacing bollards in LTNs with ANPR camera enforcement. We want to ensure drivers are fully aware of any potential enforcement measures and avoid PCNs by following the rules of the road. Our Commonplace website has full information and detailed maps of every LTN in the borough and encourage everyone planning a drive in the borough to check them.”
Residents can visit the low traffic neighbourhoods' page of Ealing council’s website for further information on the schemes it has already implemented.
You can email feedback to TrafficNotices@ealing.gov.uk, or post them to the Highways Service, Perceval House, 14-16 Uxbridge Road, W5 2HL, quoting reference ORD XXX.
Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More
This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.
Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.
We’ve always done that and won’t be changing, in fact we’d like to do more.
However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.
We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.
A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.
One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.
If you do support us in this way we’d be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.
For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you’d like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.
January 26, 2021