Mixed Response As Traffic Restrictions Extended in South Fulham

Drivers being issued warning letters in roads covered by new cameras

Opponents believe traffic is being displaced to New Kings Road
Opponents believe traffic is being displaced to New Kings Road. Picture: Twitter/@cameratraffic

December 12, 2022

There has been a predictably mixed response to the first week of operation of the extension of traffic restrictions across the South Fulham area.

From 1 December Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras were activated across the whole of the South Fulham area although the council is not yet issuing fines.

The council, and supporters of the measures dubbed Clean Air Neighbourhoods, have hailed the introduction as having successfully reduced traffic and pollution within the zone to the west of Wandsworth Bridge Road.

Previously the most popular cut throughs route were Studdridge Street, Perrymead Street, Peterborough Road, Broomhoouse Lane and Hurlingham Road and these roads are reported to be noticeably quieter.

Opponents say that traffic is being simply being displaced elsewhere and the restrictions are resulting in problems with deliveries and access to the area for services such as Uber.

There does appear to have been more congestion so far this month on Wandsworth Bridge Road and New Kings Road. For the former this may in part have been due to temporary traffic lights near the Studdridge Street junction.

As with the previously implemented schemes, registered motorists residing in Hammersmith and Fulham are exempt. To gain free access your vehicle needs to be registered in the borough or hold a H&F parking permit. If your vehicle is not registered at your home address, you can get a borough access permit.

It is still possible to reach streets in the without getting a fine if you enter and leave via New Kings Road or enter and leave via Wandsworth Bridge Road.

For the first few weeks of operation drivers travelling through the area without access will receive a warning letter. After that point, any non-exempt vehicle cutting through between Wandsworth Bridge Road and New Kings Road will receive a fine.

A map of the restricted roads in South Fulham
A map of the restricted roads in South Fulham

The scheme is officially a trial and is due to last between six and 18 months during which time the council says it will be assessing its operation and taking into account resident feedback. The council has already concluded the early trial in South Fulham was successful saying there are 8,000 fewer vehicles a day entering the area.

Council says traffic has fallen by 23% in South Fulham since earlier measures introduced
Council says traffic has fallen by 23% in South Fulham since earlier measures introduced

The council has provided details online of the operation of the scheme including how to give your visitors free access which is done by using the RingGo app or by phone (020 8753 3849).

Black cabs, buses, emergency vehicles and local H&F registered mini cabs automatically can go through the cameras without penalty. Ubers will receive fines, but the council says it will waive these if the driver can prove they were dropping off or picking up a fare within the zone. Local residents are already reporting that Uber drivers are refusing to enter the area for fear of inadvertently incurring a fine. Uber, the company, says its navigation system should route its drivers away from the cameras in the area.

When the scheme is ‘bedded in’ the council says it will write to every household in the area to take part in a survey. It also intends to conduct opinion polling and continue engagement with residents’ groups, businesses and individuals.

In the meantime, you can send comments and any suggestions for improvements to cleansouthfulham@lbhf.gov.uk.

The council is intending to launch trials of ten more similar schemes across the borough. Opponents say that it is doing so without holding a proper consultation as it knows the schemes are unpopular. Over 145,000 fines have been issued since the existing zone was introduced in July 2020 which, by some estimates, will have brought in over £10 million to the council. A petition against the current and planned schemes has been signed over 7,000 times.

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