Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

London Street That Makes [Pounds Sterling]2.5m a Year in Traffic Fines; PENALTY SPOTS EVENING STANDARD PINPOINTS; THE ROADS THAT ARE HEAVEN FOR WARDENS

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

London Street That Makes [Pounds Sterling]2.5m a Year in Traffic Fines; PENALTY SPOTS EVENING STANDARD PINPOINTS; THE ROADS THAT ARE HEAVEN FOR WARDENS

Article excerpt

Byline: Ellen Widdup

THIS is the most lucrative road in London for parking fines and traffic penalties -- raking in up to [pounds sterling]2.5million a year.

Wardens and cameras in Southampton Row in Bloomsbury, which is only 500 yards long, have snared almost 23,000 drivers in the past 12 months -- giving out fines of up to [pounds sterling]120 a time.

A Standard investigation has found that the road is one of many fines hotspots in the capital.

Wardens issued almost 29,000 penalties for contraventions in Station Road, Harrow. But the council charges half the level of fines of Camden, which regulates traffic in Southampton Row, making its potential revenue [pounds sterling]1.7million a year.

Across London in the past year, almost four million penalties were issued to motorists. Other roads which regularly rake in more than [pounds sterling]1million a year include Ripple Road, Barking; Queensway; and Atlantic Road, Brixton. Today parking campaigners accused councils of using drivers as "cash cows" and focusing on single roads with poor signage as "entrapment spots".

Barrie Segal, founder of Appeal Now, a website that helps drivers fight unfair penalties, said: "There are a few reasons that some roads are much worse than others. Often it's road signage -- one sign will contradict another so it will be confusing for the motorist. Sometimes it's poor road marking. The problem is there's no incentive for councils to correct this."

Camden's parking wardens and cameras have caught drivers in Southampton Row for a variety of offences, including driving in a bus lane, making an illegal U-turn and parking illegally.

A spokeswoman said 90 per cent of the fines issued were for traffic offences and the rest for parking violations. "Several major bus routes run along the road, so bus lanes must be kept clear at all times to prevent them being delayed," she added. "It is important to ensure motorists follow regulations so traffic is able to move freely and safely."

Westminster was the borough that issued the most penalties with 684,000. Last year Prudence Fay, 69, won a case against the council after receiving a [pounds sterling]120 fine based on photo evidence faked by a warden. …

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