Call for legal ruling on box junction fines from Merton Council
Ten drivers every day are being fined for using a busy junction since the council took on "heavy handed' new powers in May.
Merton Council made more than £32,000 in fines from people who stopped in the yellow box junction where Dorset Road meets Kingston Road in Merton Park.
Since May 7, the council took on powers from the police to enforce moving traffic offences, but drivers have complained it is impossible to turn right into Kingston Road without stopping in the box.
In the nine weeks since, the council pocketed £32,175 in paid fines after using 769 penalty charge notices (PCNs), which is an average of more than 10 drivers being stung each day.
Councillor Richard Hilton, an opposition spokesman for transport policy, has called for a legal ruling on what he described as a “heavy handed” approach to traffic enforcement.
He said: “This is contrary to Transport for London (TfL) guidance that ‘motorists can stop in a yellow box junction if they want to turn right and are stopped from doing so by oncoming traffic’.
“I believe many motorists may be entitled to compensation.
“Labour must stop using parking and traffic enforcement as a cash cow.”
As we revealed in May, traffic wardens have even taken to parking on double yellow lines and block the traffic on Kingston Road in order to get a prime view of drivers stopping in the junction.
We also showed how residents had been up warning signs in Kingston Road to warn motorists that Council CCTV vans are operating.
Cabinet member for performance and implementation, Councillor Mark Betteridge, said: We are confident our enforcement of the box junction is line with legislation.
“We understand that is not nice to receive a PCN but we have a responsibility to enforce traffic regulations.
“Doing so helps reduce congestion, ease traffic flow and keep the roads safe for our residents.”