Residents slam council as it rakes in £100,000 fines in just ONE week

Affluent Islington residents slam council as it rakes in £100,000 fines from a single street in just ONE week – with 475 drivers hit with multiple fines on the same day- after introducing low traffic neighbourhood

  • Gaby and Stephen Brown, both 64, were hit with two Penalty Charge Notices
  • They have appealed the fines and argued the new signs were not clear enough
  • Islington Council said it was ‘satisfied the signage is sufficient and compliant’

Residents have slammed Islington Council for raking in more than £100,000 in fines for one street in just one week after putting up ‘totally inadequate’ driving restriction signs.

Gaby and Stephen Brown, both 64, were ‘astonished’ when they were slapped with two Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) on the same day in April this year.

The couple, who live in the neighbouring borough of Hackney, had driven through Aubert Park, a road in the Highbury area, on their way to and from enjoying a lunch out for Stephen’s birthday.

Although the route was familiar to them, having lived in the area for over 30 years, they had no idea new restrictions had been put in place barring entry to cars and motorcycles.

They later received two fines totalling £260 – with a reduced charge of £65 per fine offered if they paid up within 14 days.

Gaby appealed the fines, arguing that the new signs were not clear enough, but Islington Council replied stating it was ‘satisfied that the signage is sufficient and compliant’.

It was later revealed that 6,214 PCNs had been issued between 25 January and 23 April 2021 – and, at £130 per fee, the total amounts to £807,820.

And 475 of those fined were vehicles that had been issued more than one PCN on the same day.

Gaby and Stephen Brown, both 64, were ‘astonished’ when they were slapped with two Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) on the same day in April this year

Islington Council has been slammed for raking in more than £100,000 in fines for one street in just one week after putting up ‘totally inadequate’ driving restriction signs

‘We were astonished and then quite angry,’ Gaby, a TV producer, told Jam Press.

‘We have lived in this area for over 30 years and I used to drive along this road on my way to work, so twice a day for many years.

‘It came as a bolt from the blue that it was now no entry to cars.

‘They are small round signs with a red edge and a photo of a car and motorcycle in the middle – but they are quite small, so easy to miss.

‘With such a clutter of road furniture these days, they are way less eye-catching than, say, a ‘no entry’ sign would be.

‘Crucially, there is no barrier of any kind.’

Gaby appealed the fines, arguing that the new signs were not clear enough, and the decision to issue two on the same day, but claims both claims were rejected by the council.

Islington Council replied stating it was ‘satisfied that the signage is sufficient and compliant’ and explained that a barrier would not be appropriate to allow emergency service access.

They later received two fines totalling £260. Pictured: Gaby and Stephen Brown’s car breaching the new restrictions of which the couple were unaware

Deciding to investigate the matter further and find out if other people had been affected by the new restrictions, Gaby submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

She requested information on the number of penalty charges levied on cars for driving in Aubert Park since the new restrictions were put in place.

The response revealed 6,214 PCNs had been issued between 25 January 2021 and 23 April.

At £130 per fee, the total amounts to £807,820.

Out of those fined, 475 were vehicles that had been issued more than one PCN on the same day.

In the week commencing 8 March, 771 fines were issued – amounting to £100,230 in fines at £130 per fine.

In a single day, 10 April, 171 PCNs were issued – amounting to £22,230.

The standard fee for a PCN is £130, with a reduced fee of £65 if it is paid within 14 days of receipt.

Gaby said: ‘This scheme should be about making life better for the residents, not raking in millions of pounds.

‘In principle I am very much in favour of traffic reduction measures and pedestrian streets – I think they are a really good idea, are brilliant for families and make the city a much better place to walk around.

‘But when you introduce a change, it has to be done in the right way – and what these figures tell us is that hundreds of motorists are getting caught because the signage is totally inadequate.

‘I suggest the council have a big re-think – after all, Aubert Park has been open to cars for decades and you can’t just stick up a couple of signs and think it’s job done.’

The couple have since paid the reduced fee of £65 for each fine. 

Islington Council has been contacted for comment. 

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