London and Cardiff authorities take £58.2m fines from moving traffic offences

London and Cardiff see 25 per cent rise in money from fines for stopping in a yellow box junction, making an illegal turn or driving down a no entry

Authorities in London and Cardiff fined drivers £58.2 million in 2018/19 for committing moving traffic offences, including stopping in a yellow box junction, making an illegal turn or driving down a no entry.

The data – which came from a Freedom of Information request issued by the RAC to Transport for London (TfL), all London boroughs and Cardiff council – showed a 25 per cent rise in revenue from penalty charge notices (PCNs) issued for moving traffic offences between 2016/17 and 2018/19.

  • 80% of drivers find it hard to avoid stopping in box junctions

The total number of PCNs issued rose 34 per cent – this indicates some may have been successfully appealed, as the revenue increase is lower. Bus lane contraventions are also not included in the figures, as currently only councils outside London and Cardiff have the right to issue them.

Yellow box junctions bring in the most money, accounting for £31.4 million from PCNs in 2018/19. By comparison, illegal turns resulted in £22.3 million coming in, while £4.4 million came in from vehicles driving through no entry signs.

London boroughs alone issued 933,263 PCNs in 2018/19 – up 27 per cent on 2016/17. Cardiff issued 74,142 – nearly four times as many as the 19,080 in 2016/17.

In London, Westminster recorded the highest figure for a single yellow box junction, which generated £333,295 from 4,595 PCNs in 2018/19. TfL got £10 million from yellow box junction fines that year, as well as £2.6 million from illegal turns.

Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy at the RAC, said: “The Department for Transport has decided to extend enforcement powers to other local authorities. However, we believe guidance should be issued setting out where enforcement should be targeted and the types of signs that must be used to make drivers aware that enforcement cameras are operating, and for what type of moving traffic offence.

“It should also make clear the circumstances in which a PCN can be appealed and where mitigating circumstances may apply such as stopping in a yellow box to allow an emergency services vehicle to go by.

“We welcome proposals that first offenders are sent a warning letter before subsequent penalties apply. This is particularly important where changes are made to urban road layouts. What we do not want is this being seen by cash-strapped local authorities as a way to generate revenue.

“In addition, we would urge local authorities to publish annual reports of moving traffic offence receipts by type and by junction. We would also encourage them to monitor hot spots where an unusually high proportion of PCNs are issued as this is more than likely a clear indication of a problem with signage or road layout.”

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