SHOCK new figures show how much Harrow council is raking in through traffic and parking fines. And an Observer investigation can reveal the top 10 fine hot spots across the borough. ELAINE OKYERE, IAN PROCTOR and BEN CLOVER report.
THE number of fines issued to drivers for ignoring Harrow's road signs has nearly tripled in a year - netting Harrow Council an extra £1.1m.
The authority handed out 9,705 moving traffic penalty charge notices (PCNs) in 2006/07 but for 2007/08 this had trebled to 28,304, according to new figures.
And with each ticket costing £60 - reduced from £120 if settled within two weeks - the council could have raked in an additional £1,115,940, which would take the total earnings from street cameras to £1,698,240
Leader of the Labour opposition in Harrow Bill Stephenson said: "I think the council itself should take a look at the penalty figures to see why this has happened.
"The whole point of having penalty notices is not to make money for the council, but to improve traffic flow.
"We must make sure the camera is really doing its job and it's clearly signed and that people are not getting had because the signage is unclear or the restrictions are not really necessary."
Only four other boroughs dished out a higher number of these kind of tickets - Camden topped the table with a huge 113,718.
Councillor Susan Hall (Conservative), Harrow Council's portfolio holder for environment services, said: "We have extended CCTV hours simply because traffic in and out of Harrow is busier for longer periods of the day and we have a responsibility to keep looking out for those offences - like sitting in box junctions - that pose a real risk to safety on the road.
"That is a role the police increasingly look to local authorities to help with.
"The Gayton Road/Station Road junction is clearly marked and if drivers don't attempt an illegal and unsafe right turn manoeuvre they won't get a ticket. It isn't some kind of easy council revenue earner."
The statistics from London Councils, a body representing local authorities in the capital, show the volume of regular parking fines printed by Harrow Council's traffic wardens decreased from 80,644 in 2006/07 to 76,922 to 2007/08.