Hammersmith council considers expanding its fines on rat-running drivers to the streets around Barons Court
Arons Court residents are eyeing a system that would fine drivers if they cut through the area, as the council says is “less aggressive” than Low Traffic Neighborhoods (LTNs).
Hammersmith & Fulham Council has told the Standard it is in “early” discussions with residents of Barons Court and Brackenbury about developing a clean air trials scheme similar to the one that has been extended across South Fulham.
Cameras with number plate recognition technology capture non-local drivers using residential streets off Wandsworth Bridge Road to cross South Fulham. You can be hit with a £60 fine.
The local authority expects other London boroughs to adopt the Clean Air Neighborhood scheme to reduce nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
Parks Services Assistant Director John Galsworthy said: “I would say there is an increasing attempt, particularly in the central counties, to change some of the ways they have been doing LTNs to be less aggressive on residents and local people and emergency services … but it actually achieves the same results.”
Vice Chairman Ben Coleman claimed the program suited residents better than LTNs “because we’re not blocking roads.”
“The entire area is fully accessible to local residents and … all roads are accessible without a camera. There is nothing blocked with a planter or whatever.
“That removes some of the concerns and complaints from local residents and makes it easier [introduce the scheme] and keep it there.”
Mr Galsworthy touted the scheme as a way to meet the target of a 73 per cent reduction in nitrogen dioxide levels set by Environment Secretary Therese Coffey in an environmental plan published on Tuesday.
“This is not easy to do without removing significant amounts of traffic or changing the transport company in terms of its power supply, be it a hydrogen or an electric fleet.
“It’s a pretty big requirement from the government, you’re not going to do it without these kinds of programs.”
The Clean Air Neighborhood Trial project to the east of Wandsworth Bridge Road was extended to the west side on 1 December, encompassing all of South Fulham.
It had already cut pollution by a third.
After a two-month grace period, which ended on January 31, drivers outside the district on the west side will also be fined £60 or £120 for late payment.
The council claims the program is “not making any money” and has already reduced traffic on western residential streets by about 10 percent.
“There is a significant amount of NO2 being produced within the borough so reducing traffic levels will make a significant difference,” Mr Galsworthy said.
The council hopes the expanded testing program will remove 16,000 cars a day from South Fulham and eliminate around a third of traffic.
Despite some concerns that traffic on Wandsworth Bridge Road has deteriorated, the council claimed it has actually improved.
“The journey time from the roundabout to the end of Wandsworth Bridge Road has improved by about a minute and the bus data … show that’s true,” Mr Galsworthy said.
“But people’s perception is because they’re queuing in a different place that it’s gotten worse.”
The councilor stressed that it was “business as usual” in South Fulham and anyone could still visit the area simply using the main roads.
Local residents and their visitors, such as delivery drivers and family, can register their vehicles on the RingGo app or call a hotline.
But the council said most people can drive to their property without having to go through a camera and use the same route they’ve always taken.
The trial program lasts up to 18 months before a permanent program is decided upon in consultation with the residents.