A solicitor is calling for Hackney Council to refund £200,000 in traffic fines imposed on Mount Pleasant Lane.

Ian Fagelson successfully challenged penalty charge notices (PCN) given to two motorists for having ignored "no traffic" signs on the Clapton street.

He says that as chief traffic adjudicator Anthony Chan awarded legal costs to the motorists because of an error on the traffic management order (TMO) to do with the positioning of signs, all PCNs issued before it was amended on March 25 should be repaid.

The council says that it will look at recent adjudicators' decisions but that it has won seven in 10 appeals and that traffic restrictions make streets safer.

Mr Fagelson said: “The music finally stopped for Hackney Council’s illegal money-go-round, but it should not have been necessary to take these cases to the tribunal."

He added: “Despite knowing that these signs were unlawful, the council continued to issue fines, send in bailiffs and resist appeals."

Hackney Gazette: Mount Pleasant Lane is a street in Clapton, HackneyMount Pleasant Lane is a street in Clapton, Hackney (Image: Archant)

The council was ordered to pay £1,692 to cover legal costs after Mr Chan found it a “wholly unreasonable” attempt to enforce fines.

The TMO was introduced on a trial basis in October 2020 and in November 2021 the Environment and Traffic Adjudicators (ETA) found that “the location identified by the TMO cannot possibly exist” as the signage was in a different position.

When the TMO was made permanent in March, it was amended, despite Hackney claiming the previous month that it was “fully compliant” with regulations.

Mr Fagelson said he will go to the ombudsman if the council does not act.

Between April 2021 and January 2022 the council issued 5,746 PCNs from the Mount Pleasant Lane restrictions, collecting a total of £195,290.

In more than 700 cases the council sent in bailiffs to enforce the fines.

Hackney Gazette: The dispute about the Traffic Management Order at Mount Pleasant Lane has been ongoingThe dispute about the Traffic Management Order at Mount Pleasant Lane has been ongoing (Image: Archant)

The council’s transport lead, Cllr Mete Coban, said: “We take the responsibility of enforcing traffic regulations seriously as they are designed to help everyone using our roads to do so safely and protect our residential roads from becoming rat runs.

“We believe that all signage in place on Mount Pleasant Lane is fully Department for Transport compliant – highlighted by the fact that seven in 10 appeals against penalties issued have previously not been upheld by the adjudicators.

“However, we will look at the recent adjudicators’ decisions to see if there are any further steps, we need to take to make the Mount Pleasant Lane scheme work better for our residents.”