1. ITV Report

Kingston Council makes £2.6 million on 'unclear' driving fines

Drivers are accusing Kingston Council of running a 'money-making scheme' after 40,000 penalty tickets were issued in six months because of new road restrictions.

Road closures near Surbition High School were brought in on a trial basis in November, with the council saying it aimed to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians and reduce the volume of traffic.

But parents on the school run say they have been unwittingly driving through them because the signposts on the road are too confusing.

The junction near Surbition High School, where the council made £500,000 in the first week of introducing the closures Credit: ITV News
Drivers say they are confused by the multiple signs at the junction, with one saying 'give way' Credit: ITV News

Parents told ITV News that the multitude of signs installed at the junction make it unclear what the rules are - and say their sat navs still direct them to the road because the restrictions are only a trial.

Driving through the restrictions incurs a £130 penalty, which is reduced to £65 if paid within two weeks. In the first week of the new rules being introduced, the council made £500,000 in penalties - and has now made £2.6 million in total.

The council argue that the signage is clear and meets all the necessary rules - and by law they must re-invest any money made from fines into transport.

The trial closure on Surbiton Crescent... is certainly not a money making scheme.

The signage used for the trial meets the requirements set out by the Department for Transport (DfT). In addition, the council has also installed a number of non-mandatory signs to give road users advanced warning on their approach to the closure.

Despite sending out 5,500 warning notices prior to giving out fines, writing to residents and the school in the area of the closure, we have had a high number of road users who have breached the restrictions... In the vast majority of cases reviewed, the independent parking adjudicator has upheld the council’s decision to issue a PCN [penalty charge notice].

– Kingston Council spokesperson