Green light for new signs at notorious Gospel Oak traffic fine hotspot

Resident Ruth Jackson and Cllr Chris Knight at the timed restriction in Grafton Road, which has rais

Resident Ruth Jackson and Cllr Chris Knight at the timed restriction in Grafton Road, which has raised millions for Camden Council. Picture: Charlie Bard - Credit: Archant

A town hall watchdog committee has approved controversial plans to keep a traffic camera at a notorious hotspot for motoring fines.

Camden Council’s culture and environment scrutiny committee voted to stick with CCTV camera enforcement at the timed road closure in Grafton Road, Gospel Oak, while improving signs.

The plan was before the committee after opposition Conservative councillors triggered a call-in.

They wanted to see the return of automatic rising bollards at the junction, which they felt would bring an end to traffic fines.

Since April 2008, the council has issued 36,833 fines at a rate of more than 20 per day – and collected £2.1million.

Many residents gave their backing to plans to keep a traffic camera and improve the signs rather than use rising bollards previously in place in 2005, citing concerns about the safety and reliability of bollards.

Mick Farrant, of the Elaine Grove and Oak Village Residents’ Association, said: “There was no call for bollards, because I and others recall what happened before.Last time, they broke down repeatedly and the children played on them, sitting on them as they went up and down.”

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Conservative Cllr Chris Knight, who triggered the call-in, has accused Camden Council of failing to consider bringing back bollards because it is “hooked” on the cash generated from fines.