Residents are ‘up in arms’ after more than 2,000 fines have been issued to drivers in just three months since a camera was installed on a school road in North London. A local councillor has blamed the ‘poor signage’ on Perrin Road in Wembley, with one resident receiving ‘six fines in one week’.
The CCTV camera was introduced to the road outside Sudbury Primary School in May as part of the council’s ‘Safe Streets’ policy. They are designed to enforce closures on roads outside schools during drop-off and pick-up times.
Sudbury’s councillor, Paul Lorber, has called on Brent Council to review the arrangements after a “staggering” 2,244 penalty charge notices (PCNs) were issued in the past three months. He said: “Most residents recognise the importance of safe roads near local schools. Most do not wish to break the law but the [number of fines issued] suggests that there is something wrong with the signage, as well as how the scheme was publicised and introduced.”
Residents caught by the camera have been contacting Cllr Lorber to complain that the signs warning them of the restrictions were either obscured or placed in the wrong location. Cllr Lorber claims one person has “received six fines in one week.”
The cost of a PCN is reduced to £65 if it is paid off within two weeks. This means that the camera has generated at least £145,860 since May. Brent Council says the monthly figures are reducing as compliance improves.
Cllr Lorber has lobbied the council leadership on behalf of residents who were “caught in the trap” by calling on it to cancel the fines when a reasoned appeal is made. He said:“Fining people £65 each time they make a simple mistake because of poor signage is very unfair.”
He added: “Especially when [the council] are always complaining about the cost of living crisis. […] It’s potentially costing people a lot of money.”
There are 31 school streets around Brent which close the roads outside of schools to cars and other motorised vehicles during drop-off and pick-up times. The council are working with our schools to encourage more journeys on foot, by bike, or by public transport.
Cabinet member for environment, infrastructure and climate action, Cllr Krupa Sheth, said the council are “satisfied with the signage” but will take residents feedback on board and encouraged people to “be mindful” when driving around the borough.
He added: “Our school streets are extremely popular with parents, teachers, and pupils. They mean that roads are safer, less gridlocked and help protect children and young people against the dangerous effects of toxic air.
“We don’t want to have to issue any fines, but those who break the rules give us no choice. For this school, and every other in the project, we sent a letter to local residents and parents and gave a two-week grace period where drivers would be notified but not fined. These PCNs were issued after the grace period, however, we are pleased to see that the number has been reducing each month.”