Highgate traffic spy camera rakes in £700,000 from fines in four months
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
A notorious traffic spy camera has been branded a council “money spinner” after potentially raking in nearly £700,000 from tickets in just four months.
Up to 42 drivers a day were caught out by the Haringey Council camera between June 9 and October 16 for making a “dangerous” illegal right turn in the heart of Highgate Village – which residents have long said is an unfairly confusing junction for motorists.
Security expert Ford Keeble, 45, was caught out by the camera twice in July for simply driving into his own home in Angel Yard, because he claims the turning is the only safe way to access his house between Highgate High Street and South Grove. He has successfully appealed the fines, but called the camera a “money-spinner”.
Of the high number of tickets the camera has issued, he said: “It’s unbelievable. There’s no reason for it to be there and it’s there just as a revenue generator.”
The camera was installed last year to replace maligned CCTV cars, but it was only switched on in June. Since then, 5,371 tickets have been issued in four months to motorists who turn into South Grove from Highgate High Street. With each ticket costing £130, the council could potentially rake in £698,230 – more than £41,000 a week, or nearly £6,000 a day. If it continued to catch out drivers at the current rate, the council could make more than £2million a year. Even if every motorist paid the fine within 14 days, reducing the fee to £65, the council would have still made more than £349,000 in the last four months.
And according to a council spokeswoman, the camera was not the worst for issuing a high number of tickets in Haringey – though she did not reveal which had issued the most fines for the same period.
Haringey Council called the junction “dangerous”, and said it is looking to reduce the number of tickets issued by improving road markings to make the illegal right turning clearer for motorists.
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A spokeswoman said: “This camera was installed to address issues with congestion and pedestrians being put at risk by vehicles performing this banned manoeuvre.
“There are very clear signs indicating the restriction and also informing drivers a camera is in operation.”
But Jane Wiles, owner of high street children’s clothes shop Notsobig, who has been ticketed, said: “It’s for money-making, there’s no way it makes traffic better. There have been no accidents, so there’s no evidence that it’s dangerous.”