London councils milk motorists for £1.4BN in five years

London councils milk motorists for £1.4BN in five years: Interactive map reveals how much local authorities have made by snaring unsuspecting drivers with ANPR and CCTV fines

  • London motorists have been stung with 5.4m fines issued by CCTV cameras 
  • The Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras are in widespread use 

London motorists have paid out at least £1.4bn in fines having been caught out for offences by CCTV and ANPR cameras in the capital since 2017. 

According to figures supplied to MailOnline from London boroughs, some 5.4 million £160 Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) have been issued during that period. 

If motorists settle the debt within 14 days, that fine is reduced to £80. Though, failure to pay can result in a court appearance. 

Thousands of cameras are dotted around the city, keeping a constant eye over roads. Many of these devices are Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras, which read the car’s licence plate and detect a potential breach of road traffic legislation, such as stopping in yellow box junctions. 

For people living outside London, local council have recently received permission to start policing their own yellow box junctions. 

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 Islington issued 931,000 PCNs followed by Waltham Forest on 821,000 PCNs during and the City of London with 772,000 – providing a potential fine revenue of more than £400million.

The fines are issued for a variety of offence, including stopping within yellow box junctions, making illegal u-turns or ignoring a no-entry sign. 

More recently, the high tech cameras are used to monitor Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, School Streets and pedestrian zones. 

After identifying a transgression, an official can pull the registered owner’s details from the DVLA database and issue a fine. 

Motorists in London have been handed fines of up to £1.4bn after being spotted by ANPR cameras stopping in Yellow Box junction and other moving traffic violations

The cameras, such as this one in Hammersmith, monitor motorists 24 hours a day and seven days a week

According to the RAC, in their first year of operation, some 7.5m fines were issued for LTN transgressions, costing a possible £123 million. 

In March 2023, Big Brother Watch issued a report on the rollout of ANPR cameras across Britain, claiming police forces alone have spent £22.5m on new cameras which collect 14.5 million registration plates every day. 

Big Brother Watch claim the use of ANPR ‘remains dangerously unregulated’. 

Lambeth Council, answering an FOI request in 2022 said its cameras are supplied by YUNEX, who are on a government-approved supplier list. 

It said individual PCN information is deleted from its systems within 28 days of the bill being settled. 

London motorists are also facing the introduction of almost 3,000 ANPR cameras to police Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s expanded ULEZ zone which is due to expand at the end of August. 

Currently ULEZ covers an area bounded by the North Circular and South Circular roads. But later this summer it will cover almost all the area inside the M25. 

Commenting on the cost of on-street charging, spokesperson for the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said much of the expense was down to decisions made in Downing Street. 

‘London is leading the way in the switch to electric vehicles, with almost 1 in 4 cars registered for the first time in London in 2022 being zero emission vehicles. It is essential that we support this growth with a world class infrastructure network. To support this, the Mayor and Transport for London are working to roll out rapid and ultra-rapid charging points across the capital.

‘The government is responsible for setting the price for electric charging points but our Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy supports the lowering of VAT so that it is consistent between public charging points and home charging use. The range of operators in London’s market creates competition, with a number of price levels available. Customers are able to view pricing information online to find the cheapest place to charge up.

‘We are unlocking a key barrier to charge point delivery in London by making public land available and ensuring the charging points the capital needs are being built at pace and in significant numbers.’

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