The Low Traffic Neighbourhood at Parsons Mead in West Croydon yesterday drew a small crowd of protesters, plus regional news television cameras, as public frustration with the fines being levied by CCTV cameras continues to increase.
The LTNs, government-funded and usually identified by wooden players or gates across the roadway, are designed to discourage car use, cut off rat runs and make it easier to walk and cycle.
There are 95 LTN schemes in London, with 18 of them in Croydon.
The Parsons Mead LTN doesn’t use planters or other physical blocks, but relies on ANPR cameras – automatic number plate recognition. Some drivers claim that they have been caught, and fined, up to a dozen times. Each Penalty Charge Notice can cost a driver £130, or £65 if paid quickly and without appeal.
Yesterday’s protests claimed there to be poor signage and confusing routes, although a recent traffic tribunal ruled against one driver’s appeal and said that the signage was clear and visible.
Residents are particularly suspicious of the scheme, introduced at this location in September. As part of the council’s financial recovery programme after going bankrupt in November 2020, Croydon anticipates raising £3million per year in road fines which, unlike parking fees and residents’ parking permit payments, can go straight into the council’s general budget.
The Parsons Mead scheme, like other LTNs around the borough, suffered from a poorly managed consultation conducted during lockdown, while postal delays saw some drivers rack up repeat fines before realising that they had committed any offence.
The council says its signage has always complied with legal requirements, and they have improved it this year. They also intend to conduct a review of the Parson Mead LTN in four to six weeks’ time.
The campaigners say that they will stage another protest on May 22.
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