Motorists racked up nearly £19 million in fines for driving into low traffic neighbourhoods since they were introduced three years ago.

Hackney Council has created 19 new low traffic neighbourhoods since 2020 to get more people out of their cars and encourage people to  walk, cycle and shop locally and cut damaging pollution.

Motorists have been issued with 387,033 fines since Hackney Council introduced the controversial low traffic network scheme and one street – Lansdowne Drive near London Fields –  has racked up £6 million in fines.

Lansdowne Drive was the first road in the scheme and earned £1.06 million in the first four months.

The first year yielded £4.6 million in fines, whilst this increased as more streets were added to the scheme in 2021 when £8.9 million was collected from 171,103 fines.

So far this year, Hackney Council collected £5.2 million from 134,867 fines after motorists paid up.

By law money generated by low traffic neighbourhoods and parking enforcement can only be spent on transport schemes in Hackney.

November 2021 saw £1.1 million collected – the highest amount as more LTNs had been added and Covid restrictions had been lifted.

However by September 2022 the number of fines dropped to £297,830.

According to data supplied after Freedom of Information requests, 154,587 fines have not been paid.

Town hall traffic experts said there were 271 million traffic miles a year on Hackney’s roads, despite less than a third of residents owning cars.

Cllr Mete Coban, the cabinet member for energy,waste transport and public realm, said: “This can’t be right and demonstrates we’re an importer of traffic.

“We’re committed to reducing transport emissions, tackling the climate crisis and supporting more people to walk, cycle and take public transport locally.”

He added: “Our evidence shows there is better air quality, fewer vehicle journeys, and more people walking and cycling since the introduction of our low traffic neighbourhoods.

"However, we have found that eight in 10 of the PCNs issued in LTNs have been to vehicles that aren’t registered in Hackney."

He said the signs were “widely publicised” and “marked with clear signage meeting all the requirements of the Department for Transport.”

The largest number of fines have been collected on Lansdowne Drive near London Fields –  in both directions from the junction with Trederwen Road. To date fines worth more than £6m have been dished out there.

In February 2020  alone – its first month – 7,214 motorists paid £489,218 fines for driving along Lansdowne Drive.

Motorists who drove through Pritchard’s Road in Haggerston were given £2.1 million in fines.

The Stoke Newington LTN was introduced in September 2021.

So far drivers in Church Street have been fined £2.8 million near the junction of Lordship Road and Marton Road.

Anti-LTN campaigners hit out at the amount of fines.

Peter Smorthit ran as an independent network candidate in May’s elections.

He has a blue badge and has been hit with nine fines issued in streets including Shepherdess Walk, Morning Lane and in Richmond Road.

He said: “I have to go to Homerton hospital twice a month. There is no way of going to the hospital without driving through LTNs.

“It’s not like I can use a bike. I have no choice, I’m paralysed and I have to use a car.”

Niall Crowley, who also stood as an independent in May’s elections, said: “These figures are shocking, especially in the context of rising inflation and the cost of living crisis, because the fines are really hitting thousands ordinary Hackney residents, working people and small businesses, who have little choice but to drive.” 

He added: “LTNs are not working for the people of Hackney, whether you walk, cycle, drive. And if you happen to live on a boundary road, then your life will have changed dramatically over the last two years.”

Mr Crowley lives near an LTN  boundary and says he has to put up a line of traffic outside his window at all hours. 

He said the system is confusing and hard to find a map of all the LTNs in Hackney.

However Hackney Cycling Campaign backs LTNs.

Their spokesman said: “We feel that the LTNs are working well at making streets safer and more welcoming to pedestrians and cyclists, and we hope to see further LTN filters being installed in the near future.

“The LTN signs prohibiting motor vehicles are clear. Many of them have been in place for two years, and they are marked by SatNav systems. So there is no excuse for driving through, and anyone being fined now has chosen to ignore clear traffic rules.”

And one resident, Toby Lloyd, said: “I think they are working very well. Air quality has improved and traffic is lower in most roads.”

Top ten LTNs in terms of fines

  • Lansdowne Drive (JCT Trederwen Road – Westbound): £3,590,867.70
  • Lansdowne Drive (JCT Trederwen Road – Eastbound): £2,430,132.11
  • Pritchard`s Road: £2,114,569.20
  • Stoke Newington Church Street junction of Lordship Road – Eastbound: £1,579,899.59
  • Stoke Newington Church Street junction of Marton Road – Westbound: £1,221,845.33
  • Barnabas Road JCT Berger Road: £790,377.68
  • Shepherdess Walk: £756,536.32
  • Cremer Street: £710,198.19
  • Lee Street junction of Stean Street: £624,920.60
  • Nevill Road junction of Osterley Road: £475,268.99