Councils use Low Traffic Neighbourhoods as a ‘cash cow’ to ‘hammer’ drivers with fines

Ealing: Huge line of traffic builds as road blocks are implemented

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The motoring lawyer said there was a “huge incentive” to put schemes into place and start “hammering” drivers with penalties. Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are areas which are closed off to through-traffic, stopping people travelling through residential areas.

The schemes were installed across London and other major cities last summer in a bid to encourage motorists to walk and cycle.

The new rules mean drivers can receive fines for drawing through the scheme with some councils generating over £1million since its launch.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Freeman said: “It’s a very cost-effective scheme for councils who are cash pressed at the moment.

“At the moment it’s only councils in London that can raise their own revenue in terms of penalising motorists for certain offences.

“Those proposals are now going to be spread across the board.

“So what the Government are saying is councils right across the country can fine motorists for committing moving traffic offences.

“Obviously there’s a huge incentive first of all to put these things in place and the start hammering the motorist with more fines.

“The motorist will inevitably in error break the law and they will be enforced by the council.

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“In my view, it’s another way to use the motorist as a cash cow in part.”

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are advertised by a simple blue sign advising them a road is now closed.

Many areas operate a £130 fine for those who avoid the warnings and continue to travel down the road.

Lambeth Council issued 11,861 Penalty Charge Notices between June and December last year with the tidal fines valued at £1,090,066.

Almost £500,000 in fines were handed out to drivers in Ealing in just one month as many broke the rules due to simple confusion.

Data from Enfield council reveals 30,000 fines were issued to drivers over a three month period as road users failed to get to grips with the new scheme.

Croydon Council predicts the new scheme could help it generate up to £4million per year.

The controversial projects have been attacked by residents in many areas who have warned the schemes have divided the community.

However, many areas have claimed road closures were being introduced to support residents.

Meanwhile a YouGov poll found 26 percent of motorists strongly supported the introduction of Low Traffic Neighbourhood measures.

Mr Freeman told Express.co.uk: “I think councils are hardheaded, I think they see this as an opportunity to rake in some money.

“They see this as an opportunity to have the green environmentally friendly streets without really concentrating on the commercial reality that will confront them.

“I can guarantee councils who implement these schemes will meet with massive resistance from the motorist.”

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