Over 2,000 PCNs issued at yellow box in Bagleys Lane and New King's Road
Harwood Terrace road closure. Picture: Owen Sheppard
The number of drivers being fined at a yellow box junction in Fulham has almost doubled after the closure of a nearby rat run.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council has confirmed that 2,452 fines were issued at the yellow box in Bagleys Lane and New King's Road between October 21 and November 21 last year.
This compares with just 1,330 fines that were issued in the previous month.
The spike coincided with the closure of Harwood Terrace on October 21. The small residential street joins Bagleys Lane about 90 metres south of the yellow box junction.
The Bagleys Lane junction was already seen as a notorious cash cow for the council. In 2016, BBC News reported that £12 million of fines were collected from it over just seven years.
The closure is part of the six-month trial that was requested by Harwood Terrace residents, who said their small street was a rat run.
A Hammersmith and Fulham Council spokesperson said: “We closed Harwood Terrace to address residents' fears over the 400 cars an hour using their narrow residential road as a rat run. As well as to improve safety for cyclists on the King's Road, as a number of local riders have been knocked down at the junctions with Edith Row and Waterford Road.”
The new figures – taken in the months before and after Harwood Terrace was closed – were revealed by the council in response to a Freedom of Information request.
The council did not reveal how much money these extra fines could raise. But its website reveals that “moving traffic” contraventions can result in a £65 fine, rising to £130 if the fine is not paid within two weeks.
If every driver had paid their £65 fine, the council could have earned £159,380 from drivers in the month after Harwood Terrace closed. It would have earned £86,450 in the previous month.
If the number of fines remained this high over the course of 12 months, the council would stand to earn around £1.9 million.
The council spokesperson added “We use penalty charge notices (PCNs) to help keep traffic in the borough moving, and the vast majority of drivers are able to get through box junctions without breaking the rules.
“Any revenue from PCNs is used to maintain and improve transport in the borough, including giving free travel to older residents and Disabled people.
“While the experimental closure is ongoing, we're actively performing traffic surveys and investigating ways to reduce the congestion and inconvenience for other borough residents.”
Many residents have also criticised the closure of Harwood Terrace, saying it has worsened congestion and air pollution in the surrounding area.
Hugh Sanderson, 46, of Peterborough Villas, said: “Since Harwood Terrace closed more cars need to come up through Bagleys Lane to get out of Sands End.
“Now traffic is lined up along Peterborough Villas, and it angers drivers. We see a lot of road rage and hear people beeping. We get more noise pollution and cars idling their engines.
“I'm an avid bike rider with my family, and this makes us feel nervous because there's now so many angry aggressive drivers.”
In November 2019, Harwood Terrace residents said the street was united in backing the council's six-month trial.
Charlie Cooper, who owns a bike shop, said: “This road was very dangerous because it's small, there's little room so it becomes a game of chicken. People here support the trial, and with a trial you need to give it time to see how people's behaviour changes.”
Owen Sheppard - Local Democracy Reporter
January 9, 2020