Queen's Road bus lane fines in Wimbledon jump by 4,000 per cent in just three years

This Is Local London: Queen's Road bus lane in Wimbledon's town centre Queen's Road bus lane in Wimbledon's town centre

Fines imposed on drivers at a bus lane in Wimbledon have soared by more than 4,000 per cent in just three years.

Since 2010 the bus lane at the junction of Queens Road and Wimbledon Bridge has generated a total of £368,761 - £337,378 in 2012/13 alone - in fines according to figures obtained from Merton Council at the request of Conservative councillors.

Fines jumped from £7,451 in 2010/11 to £23,932 in 2011/12 to  £337,378 in 2012/13 following an extension to the bus lane of 20 metres - a total increase of 4,428 per cent.

Councillor Janice Howard, Merton Conservatives’ transport spokesman said: "These figures are staggering.

"We all know that the bus lane on Hartfield Road is just a cash cow for the Labour council, but to find out that they have a herd of them is astonishing.

"It is this sort of pernicious and over-zealous enforcement which makes residents and visitors to Merton think twice before coming again.

"Enforcement should be measured and fair.

"This jump in fines shows that Labour is just hitting an easy target."

The bus lane in Hartfield Road has caused equal controversy since it introduced in in November 2011 which in its first nine months alone generated £500,000 in income.

It too has been criticised for being a "cash cow" capable of trapping drivers as the road merges into one lane without adequate signs to warn drivers they are entering a bus lane.

However Councillor Judy Saunders, cabinet member for environmental cleanliness and parking, has said fines at the Hartfield bus lane are actually reducing indicating that enforcement is working.

She said: "Traffic congestion is one of Merton residents’ top concerns and enforcing traffic regulations fairly is one way the council tackles this.

"In areas of the borough where there are higher levels of PCNs issued this is due to low levels of compliance.

"Motorists change their behaviour as a result of enforcement. For example there has been a big fall in fines for entering the Hartfield Crescent and Hartfield Road bus lanes.

"This shows that enforcement works and stops traffic congestion.

"As part of the council’s "firm but fair" approach, we have published our enforcement manual online to help road users gain a clearer understanding of how our traffic enforcement policy works.

"We have also launched a parking charter so that both the council and motorists know what is expected of them.

"Fines for traffic contraventions contribute to the costs of the Freedom Pass which costs the council £8.6m per year."

 

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Comments (5)

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5:27pm Mon 9 Dec 13

robmorleyuk says...

Dear Councillor Judy,
I know that has become the duty of the political body to select and misuse the statistics that suit them best. There may be a blood oath and ritual sacrifice involved, it would not surprise me.
There is no means to determine from the changing level of fines that there has been a reduction in congestion, only that fewer fines have been issued.

Have you been quoted out of context? If so would you care to amend the statement or prefer those that may have elected you to accept you speak without the knowledge or skills to support your words?
Dear Councillor Judy, I know that has become the duty of the political body to select and misuse the statistics that suit them best. There may be a blood oath and ritual sacrifice involved, it would not surprise me. There is no means to determine from the changing level of fines that there has been a reduction in congestion, only that fewer fines have been issued. Have you been quoted out of context? If so would you care to amend the statement or prefer those that may have elected you to accept you speak without the knowledge or skills to support your words? robmorleyuk
  • Score: 9

5:57pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Hove Ex-Pat says...

Money, money, money, in a poor mans world.
Money, money, money, in a poor mans world. Hove Ex-Pat
  • Score: -8

6:15pm Tue 10 Dec 13

Tobermory says...

What a load of tosh!! The £7,451 in 2010/11 would only cover the short section on the bend past Hartfield Crescent as the main section was not in operation. The £23,932 in 2011/12 is inaccurate since a FOI by the Wimbledon Guardian in July 2012 revealed in the first 10 weeks from Nov 2011 £148,000 of tickets had been issued.and after 5 months that had risen to £300,000. So someone is not telling the truth, is it, the Guardian, the Tories or Merton Parking Services?
What a load of tosh!! The £7,451 in 2010/11 would only cover the short section on the bend past Hartfield Crescent as the main section was not in operation. The £23,932 in 2011/12 is inaccurate since a FOI by the Wimbledon Guardian in July 2012 revealed in the first 10 weeks from Nov 2011 £148,000 of tickets had been issued.and after 5 months that had risen to £300,000. So someone is not telling the truth, is it, the Guardian, the Tories or Merton Parking Services? Tobermory
  • Score: -2

11:16am Wed 11 Dec 13

Wimbledon-Dan says...

I believe Tobermory is wrong, you seem to referring to past articles and FOI on the Hartfield road bus lane situation. This latest information request by Merton Conservative councillors refers to the very small section of bus lane outside tesco & centercourt shopping centre. It is this small section where fines have gone up by over 4400%. So in that respect it would seem the Wimbledon Guardian and the Conservatives were telling the truth. Thus its not tosh!
I believe Tobermory is wrong, you seem to referring to past articles and FOI on the Hartfield road bus lane situation. This latest information request by Merton Conservative councillors refers to the very small section of bus lane outside tesco & centercourt shopping centre. It is this small section where fines have gone up by over 4400%. So in that respect it would seem the Wimbledon Guardian and the Conservatives were telling the truth. Thus its not tosh! Wimbledon-Dan
  • Score: 1

9:34am Wed 18 Dec 13

Jonny_boughton says...

Different, congestion easing rules for TFL managed bus lanes vs those managed by Merton Council that increase congestion and conveniently raise revenue.

My 39 week pregnant wife, who was desperate for the loo (anyone with who is a mother or father knows that at this gestation this feels pretty close to an emergency) has been issued a ticket for cutting into the bus lane less than 20 metres from turning left into Queens Road from The Broadway.

Now TFL who operate the buses (131, 57, 93 etc) say on their website that you are allowed to enter a bus lane if "you're turning left and within 20m.

See http://www.tfl.gov.u
k/roadusers/redroute
s/963.aspx

However Merton Council say that bus lanes operated by them have no such rule and if they see you enter the lane at all they will issue you a ticket.

Apparently, only red route bus lanes (that operate in the borough too) are owned and managed by TFL and those with a yellow line are council run.

So, not only do you have to read the signs, you also have to look at the lines closest to the kerb too. If you enter accidentally, there's no discretion. The council will issue you a ticket and fight you all the way to PATAS.

So, what about common sense regarding easing congestion. Well, at this particular spot (bus stop D outside centre court), all the buses cut back onto the main drag so artificially waiting in queue of traffic if the bus lane and junction are clear, just makes it more difficult for the buses to pull out.

Oh, and forget mitigation - apparently if you have medical condition that requires frequent & urgent visits to the toilet, your choice is to sit in traffic and wet yourself in your car or bring on labour early. Thanks Merton Council - I hope you choke on your best council 2013 award as you count your immoral earnings!
Different, congestion easing rules for TFL managed bus lanes vs those managed by Merton Council that increase congestion and conveniently raise revenue. My 39 week pregnant wife, who was desperate for the loo (anyone with who is a mother or father knows that at this gestation this feels pretty close to an emergency) has been issued a ticket for cutting into the bus lane less than 20 metres from turning left into Queens Road from The Broadway. Now TFL who operate the buses (131, 57, 93 etc) say on their website that you are allowed to enter a bus lane if "you're turning left and within 20m. See http://www.tfl.gov.u k/roadusers/redroute s/963.aspx However Merton Council say that bus lanes operated by them have no such rule and if they see you enter the lane at all they will issue you a ticket. Apparently, only red route bus lanes (that operate in the borough too) are owned and managed by TFL and those with a yellow line are council run. So, not only do you have to read the signs, you also have to look at the lines closest to the kerb too. If you enter accidentally, there's no discretion. The council will issue you a ticket and fight you all the way to PATAS. So, what about common sense regarding easing congestion. Well, at this particular spot (bus stop D outside centre court), all the buses cut back onto the main drag so artificially waiting in queue of traffic if the bus lane and junction are clear, just makes it more difficult for the buses to pull out. Oh, and forget mitigation - apparently if you have medical condition that requires frequent & urgent visits to the toilet, your choice is to sit in traffic and wet yourself in your car or bring on labour early. Thanks Merton Council - I hope you choke on your best council 2013 award as you count your immoral earnings! Jonny_boughton
  • Score: 0

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