Redbridge Council coins it in with traffic fines

Redbridge Council raked in a record-breaking £4.7million last year fining drivers who broke traffic laws.

Since Redbridge began operating traffic enforcement cameras in 2009, lawbreaking drivers have paid a total of 644,000 fines, earning the council more than £36m.

Income from fines has been more than £3m a year since 2016 and reached a new record of £4.7million in 2021.

The figures have been revealed via a Freedom of Information request for a list of all 171 of its enforcement cameras and how much each one has earned by fining drivers.

The traffic offences – which are £130 each but discounted to £65 if paid within 14 days – include stopping in box junctions or driving through a restricted area at certain times of the day.

A Redbridge Council spokesperson said any “surplus” money it receives through fines is “strictly ring-fenced” for highways and transport projects that improve safer travel for residents.

They added: “These include our road resurfacing programme, concessionary fares, road repairs, and other elements of the highways and active travel programme.”

These figures do not include police-operated cameras which enforce speed limits and stopping at traffic lights.

Here are some of the council’s most profitable cameras:

The borough’s top-earning camera last year made £668,315 by catching drivers who stop in the box junction outside the London Underground station on Redbridge Lane East.

When the camera was installed in 2018 a council spokesperson said it was to “keep traffic flowing” next to the busy junction and argued it had “no financial motivation”.

The next highest earning camera, trained on the box junction outside Waitrose at High Road, South Woodford, made £219,484 last year.

Drivers who fail to notice a sign warning that only bicycles and buses are allowed to use part of Clements Road, Ilford, paid out £214,000 last year.

This camera is Redbridge Council’s all-time most profitable, earning a total of £2.8m since 2009.

This camera is Redbridge Council’s all-time most profitable, earning £2.8m since 2009 by fining drivers who enter the restricted part of Clements Road, Ilford

There have been different cameras enforcing the same restriction on Clements Road since at least 2009; one on the corner of Chadwick Road made £2.8m between its installation in 2009 and removal in 2020.

A School Streets restriction around Fairlop Primary School, Colvin Gardens, installed in 2020, means that drivers who entered the road from 8:45am- 9:20am or 3pm-3:50pm paid £183,000 in fines.

A gate prohibiting traffic between Fairlawn Drive and Arundel Drive, Woodford, at rush hour brought in £178,000 last year, making it the fifth highest earner for the council.

This camera has made £1.4m since its installation in 2015 and has prompted several complaints to the local press about being fined on bank holidays when no restrictions are in place.

Other camera-enforced traffic offences that earned more than £100,000 last year include:

  • Stopping in the box junction where Thackeray Drive meets Barley Lane in Goodmayes – £177,000
  • U-turns at the junction of Woodford Avenue and Clayhall Avenue – £170,255
  • Bypassing the width restriction gate at Overton Drive, Wanstead – £164,911
  • Stopping in the box junction where Perrymans Farm Road meets Horns Road in Newbury Park – £150,330.29
  • Entering Aldborough Road South from Seven Kings High Road during prohibited hours – £148,080
  • Stopping in the box junction where Cranley Road meets Ley Street in Newbury Park – £143,094
  • School Streets restrictions around St Peter & Paul’s Catholic Primary School, Gordon Road – £142,757

Redbridge Council now operates six school street schemes, which aim to improve safety around schools, reduce air pollution and encourage families to walk to school.

In July, a public consultation closed for five more proposed schemes around Farnham Green Primary School, Glade Primary School, Highlands Primary School, Manford Primary School and Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Primary School.

Josh Mellor

Local Democracy Reporter