Drivers slam 50-yard road which has collected £6million in fines

Nick Ferrari clashes with guest over Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

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Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are slowly becoming more common as councils look for ways to reduce traffic and make areas more liveable. Local authorities in London, Oxford and Birmingham have installed planters on roads, installed cycle lanes and extended pavements.

This is part of a national effort to get more people active through cycling and walking.

However, drivers are up in arms over an LTN in one part of Hackney which has raked in fines of around £6million.

The 50-yard stretch of road has reportedly fined thousands of drivers, with restrictions in place to deter vehicles.

The LTN in Lansdowne Drive, near London Fields, has an automatic number plate camera (ANPR) which has been responsible for catching drivers out.

Only bicycles and local buses are allowed to pass through the road between 7am and 10am, and 3pm and 7pm, Monday to Saturday. 

The restrictions are in place during school drop-off and pick-up times.

Drivers who ignore or don’t recognise the restrictions may receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) in their letterboxes within weeks of their infraction.

This requires drivers to pay a fine of £130 or £65 if they pay within 14 days.

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Even those who live on Lansdowne Drive are subject to the same constraints.

Only a small section of the road falls within the LTN, which has been described as the most unpopular 50 yards of road in Britain.

In the first month of becoming an LTN in February 2020, Lansdowne Drive earned nearly £500,000 in fines; by the fourth month the figure had risen to more than £1million.

Last month, Philip and Jackie Vandergucht, from Greenwich, helped move their son into his flat in Lansdowne Drive.

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Mr Vandergucht said there was a parking space outside and they “didn’t think any more of it”.

He was ultimately slapped with two fines, the first of which he paid, as well as a third fine which was sent to his son.

The driver added: “The signs are not at all clear. The satnav on our Volvo brought us that way and took us through the camera,” he told the Daily Mail.

Another motorist, Jack Hanmore, lives off the road and has picked up nine tickets – three in Lansdowne Drive and six in other parts of Hackney.

He said: “I am a local guy and used to taking this route but even I make mistakes reading the signs. It’s a nightmare. Trying to avoid restricted roads causes a traffic build-up in other areas.”

A report from 2021 found that there were mixed opinions of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, with around 50 percent of survey participants supporting LTNs.

The data, from the National Centre for Social Research (NetCen), recommended that more information is given to local residents who may be affected by the introduction of an LTN to better inform them.

There should also be a clear implementation of such a scheme, with clearly visible cameras and signage, and grace periods where warnings are given rather than fines. Many participants also said that investment should be made to other measures such as cycle lanes and bus services to make it easier to leave the car at home.

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