15 drivers a day are hit with fines at same roundabout
Council chiefs urged to change system but could be raising £500k
03 January, 2020 — By Sam Ferguson
Nadeem Aslam next to narrow lane leading south from the roundabout
ISLINGTON Council has been accused of “raking it in” after nearly 5,300 drivers were fined on the same mini roundabout in one year, potentially earning the council more than half-a-million pounds.
Around 15 people a day were caught out on the roundabout at the bottom of St Peter’s Street at the junction with Wharf Road and Noel Road.
It is thought the drivers were all penalised for using a lowered section meant for emergency vehicles rather than going through the narrow lanes to either side.
Small metal bollards with scrapes and dents in them line the narrow southbound lane, while a large blue “keep left” sign and a sign warning of traffic cameras is also present, along with a sign warning about the width of the lane.
One driver caught out last year was Nadeem Aslam. He told the Tribune he drove through the emergency lane after realising that his Volvo XC90 was too wide to fit through the six foot, six inches gap on the southbound exit onto Wharf Road.
After a penalty charge notice (PCN) from Islington Council landed on his doorstep, Mr Aslam decided to appeal to the London Tribunals, and used Freedom of Information laws to find out how many other people had done the same thing.
He was surprised to find that 5,298 people were penalised on the roundabout for the same violation between November 1, 2018, and October 31, 2019.
Mr Aslam lost his London Tribunal appeal, but now wants the council to review the traffic order or to make it clearer that the lowered section is for emergency vehicles only.
“The council are raking it in,” he told the Tribune.
“They must know this is a problem because of the amount of people who are doing the same thing.
“They are generating an income when they should be taking action to mace it clearer for people to understand. But in my opinion, they don’t have any intention of doing that because of the amount [of revenue] they generate.
“The blue signs said keep left, but there was nothing telling me that it would be illegal to go through the middle bit.
“The restriction has been in place since 2002. It’s 18 years on, and it’s time for change.”
Based on a minimum charge of £65, which rises to £130 if appealed unsuccessfully, Mr Aslam estimated the council earned between £344,370 and £688,740 from the penalties.
Islington Council said any surplus money made from PCNs is put back into transport projects in the borough.
A spokesman said: “We issue penalty charge notices for moving traffic violations when vehicles don’t follow local regulations, which are there for good reasons including stopping rat-running and reducing traffic and air pollution in local neighbourhoods. Any surplus from PCNs is ringfenced for use on transport projects in Islington.”