Residents Enquiry to me (Box Junction) Junction London Road/Silver St/The Town Aug 2020
Dear Cllr. Dey,
Attached is a copy of a letter I have sent to NSL, who operate the Council’s parking enforcement. It relates to a PCN I received today, for infringing the box junction at the junction of London Road, Southbury Road, and Silver Street.
Whilst I cannot deny, that I did stop on the box junction, as stated in my letter to NSL, I feel that enforcing the regulations, when clearly the flow of traffic is impeded, is somewhat harsh. Can you find out if the issue of PCN’s for this offence at this junction have increased since the introduction of the wider pedestrian paths, and if so by how much?
Thank you for your attention in this matter.
My Question to Enfield Council
I hope you are well?
Mr Cxxxxxxxx asks a fair question in my mind and I’d like to know the stats. Please can you arrange for the relevant officer to provide them to me?
With regard to the PCN I agree with the resident that enforcement is harsh when the carriageway has been halved to aid social distancing. Can the council look kindly on this situation and cancel the PCN under the current circumstances?
Councillor Christopher Dey
Enfield Council response
Dear Cllr Dey
Thank you for your enquiry on behalf of your constituent.
The enforcement of the box junction started at the beginning of 2020. This was implemented to help the traffic flow especially in Silver Street which would often tail back due to the exit by the Lloyds bank being blocked by traffic from London Road/Church Street.
Initially we only enforced vehicles entering the box from London Road and not from Church Street. However, we saw a significant amount of contravening vehicles entering the box junction from the Church Street direction. This was implemented at the end of March but due to the Covid restrictions, the enforcement from both directions has only occurred in any significant numbers since the lockdown has eased.
We have seen a significant amount of non-compliance at this location, however whether this has seen an increase due to the social distancing measures in place is unclear. We will treat this motorist the same as all others, the issue of the PCN if appealed will be reviewed and cancelled/enforced as is necessary. If enforced, the motorist can take the matter to the Independent Adjudication Service if they do not agree with the Council’s decision.
Full July figures are not available yet as PCNs are still being processed:
I trust the above information will enable you to respond to your constituent.
My letter to the releavnt Senior Officer
I trust you are keeping well?
Thank you for getting this reply send to me. Please can I ask that you review this situation?
There was a post about this junction on Love Your Doorstep, Enfield last week and reading through the comments lots of residents have been caught out.
I quite agree that people travelling from Silver St or Church St can see into the junction and shouldn’t enter the box until it is clear and deserve a PCN if they do so. However as the road has been narrowed to aid social distancing people turning right from London Road can’t see round the corner. Motorists set off when the lights change and then run into the traffic and have to stop in the box. I walked down to the junction the other day and saw the problem first hand for myself and I agree with residents.
Residents are saying the Council has done this deliberately to earn extra money. While I realise that this isn’t true I can understand why many have formed this view. When you look at the figures for June three times more residents have been issued with PCN’s than in Jan before the pavements were temporarily widened.
Due to the number of residents who have been penalised, quite unfairly in my opinion, can I suggest that we temporarily stop issuing PCNs for vehicles who are turning right out of London Road? Obviously this can resume when the roads are returned to usual. They can’t reasonably see around the corner and with normal traffic flow i.e. one lane closed to widen the pavement this wouldn’t be an issue. Furthermore can the Council cancel and refund any PCNs issued to people who have turned right from London Road.
Perhaps go and look at the junction yourself, only a short walk from the Civic, and let me know what you think?
A further letter to the Director of the Environment and Executive Director of Place send Saturday 22nd August 2020.
I hope you are well?
Thank you for getting David Morris to respond to me regarding this issue. I am not happy with the response and I don’t think my requests with regard this matter have been taken at all seriously by officers.
It is clear that PCNs have increased by at least 2/3rds from Feb, before lockdown, to June once the lane narrowing has been implemented. We await July’s figures! I was hoping my earlier e-mail to you would have brought about a change in thinking and some sensible review of PCNs issued. At the time I could understand that the measures had been implemented in a hurry and the impact of these not thought through. What I am finding impossible to reconcile is that now I have flagged this the Council is continuing with the same approach.
I can 100% understand why residents are feeling this is deliberate trap set by the Council to fleece them of their hard earned cash. I have been reassuring residents this isn’t the case. However after my involvement as there has been no change you can understand why they have formed their opinions accordingly.
Please can I ask once again that while the temporary lane reductions remain in place that the Council;
i) carefully assesses each PCN before it is issued. Choosing not to issue them to motorists who enter the junction from London Road. These motorists would reasonably expect to be able to make the turn without having to stop in the box.
ii) That all PCNs issued since the installation of the temporary lane reductions are reviewed and those issued to motorists entering the junction from London Road are cancelled and refunded.
iii) Mr Carter’s points below are given consideration
As you know I fully support the council fining selfish motorists who deliberately block the junction for other road users but I feel a total sense of injustice as to how this is being handled.
I have now copied in Sarah too so that this matter can also be on her radar, it isn’t going away. There continues to much outrage by hundreds of residents on Love Your Doorstep on this specific matter.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the matter.
Councillor Christopher Dey
Member for Grange Ward
London Borough of Enfield