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Kingston Council angers drivers who fail to notice the new rules

A council in London has made over half a million pounds in a week from drivers falling foul of new traffic restrictions as a cycling ‘Mini Holland’ was launched.

Despite temporary bollards and notices of traffic restrictions being placed around the area of Kingston, south west London, thousands of drivers ignored them and were hit by penalty charge notices.

According to the Evening Standard, 8,055 penalty charge notices were issued between November 14 and November 20 - totalling at least £525,000.

Each fine is £65, rising to £195 if not paid within 28 days.

Only buses, taxis and residents are allowed to breach the cycle-friendly zones.

Roger Marlow, 74, from East Molesey, was fined after driving through the bollards to reach his bridge club last month.

He said: “I went through there and got a £65 ticket.

“When I went this week I flagged down a number of cars who didn’t know not to go through there.

“They must be making an absolute fortune, it must be a money making machine.

“At least eight or nine cars went through - there are some notices but there hasn’t been a consultation.”

Tony Edmonds, 57, who lives nearby, said: “I spoke to the council and they said they’re getting a lot of complaints about it.

“They said around 5,500 warning notices had been given out.

“That means people don’t understand the signage.”

Kingston Council issued 5,482 warning notices to drivers passing through the bollards before “live enforcement” of the restrictions began on November 14.

Liberal Democrat leader Liz Green said: “It’s a scary amount of money.

“The whole thing from start to finish has been badly implemented - it’s just a disaster.

“There is just a plethora of signs. There was no consultation, there was no chance to object.”

A Kingston Council spokeswoman said: “In order to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians, we are conducting a trial road closure which is aimed at reducing traffic.

“The council has been monitoring traffic flows, and following a lengthy bedding in process, which included the installation of cameras and the issuing of warning notices, has started issuing fines to motorists who fail to comply with the closure.

“Over the next few months the council will be measuring the actual impacts of traffic flow and congestion on neighbouring roads and will subsequently carry out consultation on whether or not to make the scheme permanent.”

Last month we reported how the final touches were being added to the 1400m fully segregated riverside route, on Portsmouth Road in Kingston upon Thames on Tuesday, one of six routes planned as part of the borough’s £30m “Mini Holland” programme.

Although there is a “shared space” section beside a zebra crossing, and the junctions are slow to navigate, campaigners say designs are the best option for the route and have been improved almost beyond recognition from their early incarnations.

Kingston Cycling Campaign Co-ordinator, Jon Fray, told road.cc: “Kingston Cycling Campaign is pleased we have got proper segregation pretty much all the way along”.

“I think [the council] have done just about the best they can do.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.