Wimbledon Motorists Penalised In Box Junction

Penalty notices for drivers in Merton Park

More than 800 drivers using a busy crossroads in Merton Park have been fined since council officers starting enforcing junction box offences in May.

The junction involved is on the Kingston Road at Dorset Road, close to the Merton Park tram stop (see right).

It is an offence to enter the box junction unless the exit is clear. But cars turning right from Dorset Road regularly go into the box while the traffic lights just ahead have halted the traffic on the busy main road.

Merton borough council staff recently started issuing Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) for motorists who stop in the box while traffic is stationary as they turn right from Dorset Road.

They issued warning letters to some motorists in April, but began enforcing the Highway Code at the junction, from May 7.

A spokesman for the council said 834 PCNs had been issued since the enforcement campaign began. It works out at nearly 10 PCNs per day.

Conservative Councillor Richard Hilton has asked Merton council for a legal ruling on the penalty charge notices it is issuing. In a letter to the editor, he says the council should not use traffic enforcement as a "cash cow".

Cabinet member for performance and implementation, Councillor Mark Betteridge said: "We understand that is is not nice to receive a Penalty Charge Notice but we have a responsibility to enforce traffic regulations. Doing so helps reduce congestion, ease traffic flow and keep the roads safe for our residents."

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August 6, 2012