The single yellow box that makes a London council up to £1M in fines
Revealed: The single yellow box catching out 8,110 drivers a year and making a council up to £1MILLION in fines
- The traffic markings currently catch out an average of 22 drivers a day
A single yellow box made a London council up to £1million in fines in just 12 months as critics call the scheme a ‘stealth tax’ on motorists.
The ‘cash cow’ traffic marking in Elmers End is the borough of Bromley’s biggest yellow box earner.
It lies on Croydon Road and is designed to keep nearby traffic lights from growing too congested, allowing motorists to turn into a small side road, Langley Road.
It is currently catching out an average of 22 drivers a day, or 8,118 a year in 2022 – with each penalty charge costing a driver £130.
It means it could have netted Bromley Council £1,055,340 in just 12 months. The fine is halved if the driver pays in two weeks – but that still would have made the authority £527,670.
The yellow box is designed to stop motorists blocking other cars from turning left off Croydon Road
Bromley Council made up to £1million in fines from a single yellow box (pictured) on Elmers End in just 12 months
The yellow box caught out an average of 22 drivers a day, or 8,118 a year in 2022 – with each penalty charge costing a driver £130
Bromley Council handed out 18,255 yellow box fines in just five places in 2022 – making a maximum of £2.3million.
All in all the authority handed out 25,425 fines last year, making up to £2.59million and 70 per cent were from just five boxes.
The figure is more than ten times the previous year, when 2,427 were dished out.
Traffic Management Act regulations give the power to authorities throughout England to issue Penalty Charge Notices for contraventions detected using a camera and recording equipment.
The one at the Elmers End yellow box is placed on a tall pole opposite a newsagents.
It was the box junction that drivers were most likely to fall foul of last year, followed by 3,229 fines given to those who drove into one at Bromley Road close to Shortlands Station, while a further 3,050 charges were handed to those who drove into a box beside Bromley South Station.
The final two top spots can be found on Crofton Road at Orpington Station and Cray Avenue and the Cray Valley junction in St Mary Cray, amounting to 2,072 and 1,786 fines.
All in all the authority handed out 25,425 fines last year, making up to £2.59million and 70 per cent were from just five boxes
Bromley was the last of all London boroughs to take over the responsibility of enforcing moving traffic restrictions from the Met Police in 2021.
In the borough, CCTV is used to enforce school zig zag restrictions, bus lane contraventions, banned right, left and U turns, no vehicle entry roads, yellow no stopping box junctions and vehicle type access restrictions.
Labour Councillor Jeremy Adams, who represents the nearby Clock House ward, said the yellow box fines were a ‘stealth tax’ on motorists.
He added: ‘The Conservatives claim to be on the side of motorists – but this obscene volume of fines from just one camera shows they see motorists as a cash cow.’
Cllr Nicholas Bennett (Con), Executive Councillor for Transport, Highways & Road Safety, said: ‘The council has no wish to issue any penalty charge notices, with Bromley being the last borough in London to take over this responsibility from the police.
The marking are designed to keep nearby traffic lights from growing too congested, allowing motorists to turn into a small side road
‘When enforcement commenced just 18 months ago, this was publicised, with information also being published on the council’s website and the various rules outlined in the Highway Code.’
Regarding the junction at Elmers End, he added: ‘Although the boxes are properly signed, following the moving of the bus stop further away from the junction I have approved the installation of an additional sign behind where the buses stop.
‘There are costs associated with this work but as with parking, any surplus income actually directly supports transport-related work.’
A recent report by the RAC found there were problems with 90 per cent of yellow box junctions – leading to motorists being unfairly fined.
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