London and Cardiff raked in £58.2m from fines for moving traffic offences last year – half of which were for yellow-box junction infringements
- Revenues from fines collected for these offences in 2018/19 were 25% higher than in 2016/17, RAC said
- More than half of the fines – with a total value of £31.4m – were from yellow-box junction infringements
- Only TfL, boroughs in the capital and Cardiff Council have the powers to enforce moving traffic offences
- However, the DfT does plan to extend enforcement powers to all local authorities in England and Wales
- We’ve broken down the different types of moving traffic offences and highlighted the danger zones for each
London and Cardiff pocketed a combined £58.2million from drivers who committed moving traffic offences in a year, a new report by the RAC has found.
More than half of the fines – at £31.4million – were from yellow-box junction infringements in the financial year 2018/19, which continue to prove lucrative for authorities across both capitals.
One of these junctions, a yellow box in Westminster generated a staggering £333,295, the investigation found.
And millions generated in fines could soon be just the tip of the iceberg after the government announced plans to give all authorities across England and Wales the powers to enforce moving traffic offences, which will ultimately result in millions more drivers facing penalties for minor offences.
Body blow for boxed-in motorists: Of the £58.2million in revenues from fines to motorists committing moving traffic offences in the English and Welsh capitals in 2018/19, more than half (£31.4million) were for yellow-box junction infringements, it has been revealed in a new report
Moving traffic offences also include motorists caught making an illegal turn or driving down a ‘no entry’ road.
The enforcement of these in the two cities increased by 25 per cent compared to two years earlier.
A similar investigation by the RAC found that authorities raked in £46.7million from these types of fines in 2016/17 – meaning an additional profit of £11.5million in the most recent earnings report.
The figures were revealed after the motoring group issued a freedom of information request to all local authorities that are currently able to enforce these offences in England and Wales.
Only Transport for London, London boroughs and Cardiff Council have the powers to issue penalty charge notices (PCNs) to motorists for these offences.
However, the Department for Transport confirmed last month that it plans to extend these enforcement powers to all local authorities in England and Wales, which could see a huge spike in moving traffic offences.
Currently, local authorities outside of London and Cardiff only have powers to enforce bus lane contraventions.
The interactive table below shows the number of fines in thousands and the money brought in. If you’re reading this story on the Mail Online app and can’t see the table, click this link to view in on our website.
Commenting on the findings, the RAC said the percentage increase in the number of PCNs issued was greater than the revenue increase.
In 2016/17 councils issued 752,871 PCNs, rising to 1,007,405 in 2018/19, which equates to a 34 per cent hike.
Yellow box junctions were – yet again – by far the most lucrative.
Drivers can be fined up to £130 for unlawfully stopping in a yellow box, though most PCNs issued will halve this cost if paid within a fortnight of the ticket being issued.
Motorists caught stopping in them by CCTV cameras were fined a combined £31.4milllion in 2018/19, compared to £22.3million for ‘no turn’ offences and £4.4million for ‘no entry’ contraventions.
Authorities in London and Cardiff pocketed revenues of £4.4million for ‘no entry’ contraventions in 2018/19
RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: ‘It’s plain for all to see that London boroughs, TfL and Cardiff are generating phenomenal sums of money from the enforcement of moving traffic offences.
‘The vast majority of drivers we’ve surveyed agree that those who stop on yellow boxes, make illegal turns or go through ‘no entry’ signs need to be penalised, but when it comes to extending powers to other councils many are concerned, with 68 per cent thinking local authorities will rush to install cameras to generate additional revenue.’
Lyes added that four in 10 drivers (39 per cent) also believed that road layouts and signage will be made to be ‘deliberately confusing’ to increase the number of PCNs issued.
‘Clearly, the priority for enforcement should be to improve road safety and reduce congestion,’ he explained.
‘The Department for Transport has decided to extend enforcement powers to other local authorities, however we believe guidance should be issued setting out where enforcement should be targeted and the types of signs that must be used to make drivers aware that enforcement cameras are operating, and for what type of moving traffic offence.
‘It should also make clear the circumstances in which a PCN can be appealed and where mitigating circumstances may apply such as stopping in a yellow box to allow an emergency services vehicle to go by.’
There are currently proposals for first offenders to be issued with a warning letter before subsequent penalties apply.
The RAC backed this move, adding that it is particularly important where changes are made to road layouts, such as the introduction of hatched yellow-box markings at congested junctions.
‘What we do not want is this being seen by cash-strapped local authorities as a way to generate revenue,’ Lyes added.
The RAC has also called on local authorities – once granted powers to enforce moving traffic offences – to publish annual reports, including receipts by type and by junction.
‘We would also encourage them to monitor hot spots where an unusually high proportion of PCNs are issued as this is more than likely a clear indication of a problem with signage or road layout,’ the motoring group’s road policy spokesman explained.
Where are the moving traffic offence ‘danger zones’?
Transport for London has 399 yellow box junctions but declined to disclose to the RAC how many are enforced
Yellow box junctions
Of the authorities which benefitted the most from the enforcement of yellow box junctions, TfL topped the table with a revenue of nearly £10million (£9,969,545 – 135,923 PCNs) in 2018/19.
However, in terms of single councils, Hammersmith & Fulham was the runaway leader with a £3.5million yellow box revenue pot (from 53,576 PCNs) generated from 16 enforced junctions out of 23 in its area.
It was £1.1million ahead of its nearest rival Redbridge, which made £2.4million (34,782 PCNs from 14 enforced junctions out of a total of 35).
Merton, the only other council to pocket more than £2million in yellow box penalties, was third on £2.2million (31,081 PCNs from 27 enforced junctions, no overall total of junctions available).
In terms of average revenues per enforced junction, Westminster recorded the highest figure with a single junction generating £333,295 from 4,595 PCNs. Hammersmith & Fulham had the second largest average on £223,472 (£3.5million from 16 enforced junctions) and Richmond had the second largest average revenue with £156,117.
TfL has 399 yellow box junctions but declined to disclose how many are enforced.
The interactive table below shows the number of fines in thousands and the money brought in from yellow box contraventions. If you’re reading this story on the Mail Online app and can’t see the table, click this link to view in on our website.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras located at junctions with ‘no turn’ instructions helped authorities issue fines worth £22.3million in 2018/19, says the report
No turn offences
Three authorities topped £2million in revenue from ‘no turn’ offences with Ealing even managing to outdo TfL with a revenue of £2.6million (from 44,612 PCNs) versus £2million (£2,093,651, from 28,978 PCNs).
Hackney had the third highest total on £1,888,845.
No entry offences
Harrow was top for ‘no entry’ offences with a revenue of £549,785 followed by Southwark on £420,760 and Islington on £357,265.
CARS & MOTORING: ON TEST