The new H&F SW6 Traffic Reduction Scheme is set to cause havoc on Fulham roads
The notorious ‘Moneybox Junction’ in South West London is set to earn Hammersmith & Fulham Council significant additional revenue, following the implementation of its controversial traffic reduction scheme on Monday 20 July. The lucrative yellow box junction of New Kings Road and Bagleys Lane is already the most lucrative junction in the country.
The traffic reduction scheme sets out to restrict non-H&F traffic from using designated restricted roads and will be monitored by Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras. The cameras located on the restricted roads will record vehicles and check the details with the DVLA. Under the scheme, the restricted roads will only be accessible to permitted vehicles, while other road users will be fined a £130 PCN. Visitors, traders, carers, and essential delivery drivers all fall out of the scope of the scheme and are subsequently penalised, with only provisions for the former to apply for a visitor permit on every occasion and restrictively limited to one per household.
Angry residents across Fulham and Chelsea have contacted their MP to raise concerns. The new scheme reportedly formulated alongside a “working group”- though widely criticised for its almost non-existent wider public consultation - has led to a wave of residents raising significant concerns about the scheme.
One local vulnerable resident recently contacted the local MP, Greg Hands, to highlight concerns about access to regular medical prescription’s deliveries. Under the new scheme set to come into force on Monday, delivery drivers (excl. Royal Mail drivers) will face £130 fines unless using non-restricted roads. As a result, the local pharmacy has also expressed alarming concerns about the future of its essential delivery access for certain residents.
A local pub owner has equally expressed growing fears about access for essential business deliveries and repair service vehicles, reporting a fall in business following the initial closure of Harwood Terrace. Outside of these reports, further critical questions remain about access for care workers, delivery drivers, and neighbouring borough residents who all fall out of scope in the Council’s current plans.
Local business owner, John Warr of Warr’s Harley-Davidson commented:
“They’ve put a no motor vehicle sign right in front of our ‘motor vehicle’ dealership… No consultation whatsoever. No thoughts about the implications… It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.”
On top of the already concerning proposals, the new scheme is timed to coincide with scheduled maintenance works starting on Wandsworth Bridge on Monday 20 July, seeing this key river crossing – which received additional pressures following the continued closure of Hammersmith Bridge - reduced to single lane traffic and likely overnight lane closures northbound.
The ill-timed introduction of the plans by H&F will undoubtedly see an increase congestion and unsuspecting drivers funnelled into the notorious “moneybox junction”, or otherwise unknowingly streamed into the multiple new PCN cameras located across the Sands End area.
All these concerns are set against the backdrop of the notorious “moneybox junction”, which generates more than £1million a year for the Council. The significance of the infamous junction is highlighted in the former financial year’s revenue. In a published FOI request in May, in 2018/19, Hammersmith & Fulham Council received £1,028,540.62 from the yellow box junction, while in 2019/20, following the closure of Harwood Terrace in October 2019, received a notable £1,142,988.90.
What is clear, is that the local traffic reduction scheme, is set to unleash havoc on Fulham roads on Monday as a result of the Councils poor effort in communicating the introduction of the scheme to residents as well as out of borough drivers.
The local MP for Chelsea and Fulham, Greg Hands MP said:
“This scheme is clearly designed to be a revenue raiser by Labour run Hammersmith and Fulham Council. On top of the existing million-pound moneybox junction, this scheme will hammer residents, visitors and essential deliveries hard, in addition to increasing traffic on the already congested Wandsworth Bridge Road.
There has been minimal consultation with residents, and Fulham has not reacted well to this money grab by greedy Labour councillors.
The Council need to shelve its hastily conceived scheme and consult and involve residents. Traffic in Fulham is a problem, but this is not the solution.”