Daily Mail

£100m! Councils cashing in on low traffic zone fines

- By Ryan Hooper

LOW-TRAFFIC neighbourh­oods (LTNs) have helped councils generate up to £100million from fines on motorists since their introducti­on.

The controvers­ial measures, aimed at reducing through-traffic in suburbia, have helped four London boroughs potentiall­y rake in more than £10million each from violations since 2020, analysis by the TaxPayers’ Alliance campaign group suggests.

Chief among them was Lambeth, where council bosses dished out 47,612 fines, with a revenue potential of £19.2million.

Elliot Keck, investigat­ions campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘Taxpayers will be worried that LTNs are just another cash cow to fill council coffers.

‘Residents are already driven round the bend by some of these schemes, which seem designed to punish drivers more than achieving traffic reductions.

‘Councils should put the brakes on LTNs and ensure they’re working for local residents and road users.’ The data was based on Freedom of Informatio­n Act requests to local authoritie­s in Britain, although the vast majority of LTNs are in the capital.

After Lambeth, three other London boroughs potentiall­y scooped in excess of £10million during the last two financial years.

The analysis suggested Ealing accrued up to £15.8million, while Lewisham and Southwark potentiall­y pocketed more than £11million each.

The data was calculated using the revenue potential if fines were paid at the full amount, which can cost up to £160 per violation.

Islington council in north London handed out the most fines, 175,066 in two years, with a potential monetary value of £8.9million, the analysis suggested.

Many LTNs were brought in during the coronaviru­s lockdown in 2020 to redirect traffic away from residentia­l areas, which involved installing cycle lanes, closing off roads to through traffic and widening pavements.

They work by using methods such as bollards and signage to restrict traffic. Many cyclists have said they make journeys by road more relaxing.

However, LTNs have been accused of making little impact on pollution, simply moving congestion and emissions to other areas.

In fact, car use in councils that introduced the controvers­ial £ 250million scheme actually increased at a higher rate than in boroughs that did not, statistics

‘Driven round the bend’

from the Department for Transport showed.

Emergency services have also said they can impede their ability to respond to incidents quickly, although studies have suggested they helped reduce injuries to pedestrian­s and car passengers in areas where they have been introduced.

There are now LTNs in ten innerLondo­n boroughs. Labour mayor Sadiq Khan has been a vocal advocate of the zones, giving guidance to the 32 boroughs on how to create them.

 ?? ?? ‘I understand your preference is a low traffic neighbourh­ood?’
‘I understand your preference is a low traffic neighbourh­ood?’

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