On July 4 this year, Labour-run Ealing Council began to fine drivers for turning right into Longfield Avenue from Uxbridge Road and left into Uxbridge Road from Longfield Avenue, claiming it would ease congestion and boost safety following a “number of accidents” at the junction.
This has been disputed by people living nearby.
Exclusive figures obtained by getwestlondon reveal from July 4 to October 7 this year, a total of 4,650 motorists were given a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) for breaching the ban.
That is a mind-boggling 48 fines a day, and not two fines a day as Cllr Bassam Mahfouz wrongly claimed in June.
So on a slightly damp and drizzly Thursday (November 10) afternoon, getwestlondon visited the scene.
There is no doubt plenty of road signs warning drivers about the changes.
They are placed both on Longfield Avenue and Uxbridge Road as vehicles approach the junction, both on ground level and higher up on street furniture.
Perhaps white road markings showing right-turn only on Longfield Avenue, and no right turn when approaching Longfield Avenue on Uxbridge Road, would help.
While observing the junction for a period of time on Thursday November 11, we did not see any wrong turns.
Will French, who has lived on the nearby Gordon Road for 23 years, said of the £229,684 that motorists have been fined from from July 4 to October 7 this year: “It is mind blowing, it is a huge amount of money.
“I think it reflects that people did not understand the purpose of it.
“There are signs there so there is no reason why people would not know about ban, but it reflects the fact that it does not make sense.”
Gregory Phelan, who has lived in Gordon Road since 1990, believes the ban has served to make congestions worse in surrounding roads including their own and St Leonard’s Road in particular.
He said: “It has created congestion in the area, even during the day, any time during the day.
“It is incredibly difficult during the rush hours.”
Councilor Alex Stafford accused the ban of being a money-making initiative for the council, and that signs are not clear enough warning of the ban.
The Tory Ealing Broadway councillor said: “It is a phenomenal amount of money, it is astounding that it made that much money is such a short period of time.
“The signs are wholly inadequate, they are designed to catch people out. The council have only done this to make money.
"Without consulting residents it is a disgrace.”
A council spokesman said: “This trial was introduced to improve road safety and we will be carrying out a full review this month to see what difference it has made.
“We did everything possible to help people to avoid getting tickets.
“At the beginning of the trail we installed 28 temporary and permanent signs, well in excess of the three required by law, and issued warning letters instead of fines for the first 10 weeks of the scheme.
“The money received as a result of the fines is ring-fenced and used to pay for concessionary travel schemes, such as the Freedom Pass and for other road safety and traffic management projects.
“We have been monitoring the junction on CCTV and if you compare the number of drivers seen breaking the ban each hour in April, and those caught on CCTV now, there is a marked reduction.”
Let us know what you think of the ban by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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