A Conservative MP has accused the City of London Corporation’s decision to ban all vehicles other than bicycles and buses at Bank Junction as being motivated more by a desire to raise money through fining motorists who ignore it, rather than being due to safety concerns.
The local authority that governs the Square Mile began an 18-month trial of the ban, which applies from 7am to 7pm on Mondays to Fridays, in May this year.
The move was welcomed by cycling campaigners, who had lobbied for safety improvements at the junction since the death there of 26-year-old Ying Tao in 2015, when she was crushed by a lorry as she rode to work.
While the City of London Corporation initially sent warning letters to motorists caught flouting the ban, in June it began fining them, with vehicle registrations captured using seven cameras equipped with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (APNR) technology around the junction.
Nevertheless, large numbers of motorists are continuing to drive through Bank Junction outside the permitted hours.
The Daily Star reports that an average of 1,498 drivers were fined each day between 7 June and 17 July, according to a Freedom of Information request.
With a fixed penalty notice of £130 being issued to transgressors, total fines during that period were almost £200,000 a day.
The newspaper extrapolates that to being equivalent to almost £50 million a year – although that figure, equivalent to around 375,000 individual fines, seems to assume that drivers would not change their behaviour after being caught the first time.
Charlie Elphicke, Conservative MP for Dover, told the Daily Star: “The cameras on this junction are fleecing motorists for £200,000 a day.
“Many people would say this looks like a case of revenue-raising rather than anything to do with traffic safety.
“Cameras [that] are simply there to raise revenue cause big resentment and are incredibly unfair,” he added.
But a spokesman for the City of London Corporation, which implemented the changes to protect vulnerable road users including pedestrians and cyclists, rejected the claim.
He said: “Our number one priority for the experimental scheme at Bank Junction is to improve safety.
“For too long it has been one of the capital’s dangerous hot spots.”
ribena [183 posts] 10 hours ago
I’m sure it’s just a coincidence, but Charlie Elphicke receives 22,000 pounds from the Road Haulage Association, who are opposed to this ban.
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