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Yellow box junction at Horns Road, Ilford is a “money box trap” for drivers

PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 December 2017

The yellow box at the junction of Horns Road and Perrymans Farm Road

The yellow box at the junction of Horns Road and Perrymans Farm Road

Archant

A yellow box junction between Perrymans Farm Road and Horns Road, Newbury Park, has collected more than £250,000 in penalty charges in four months.

Drivers are complaining that the junction is creating congestion and disrupting traffic flow rather than making it smoother.

A Freedom of Information request to Redbridge Council revealed that the council has collected £268,975 from 3,798 penalty charge notices since enforcement began from a new camera in July 1, 2017.

Chetan Bhatt, 42, from Glencoe Avenue, Seven Kings, was inspired to issue the FoI request and start a petition campaigning against the junction after his wife, Amifha Bhatt, received three penalty charge notices within two weeks.

Each ticket cost £65 meaning the family will have to pay a total fine of £195.

Mr Bhatt said: “Within a few months the council will generate around £1million from the camera if the current situation is not sorted.

“Traffic coming in from Perrymans Farm Road simply jumps into the ongoing traffic from Horns Road without allowing due respect to the give way sign.

“As a result, this forces the traffic approaching in Horns Road to suddenly brake and end up stopping in the yellow box junction.”

Mr Bhatt explained that due to the nearby schools, families in particular are being affected. He added: “Most of the parents of children from the nearby school have been caught, as nobody notices that there is a camera there now.

“There were already two keep clear signs in that area, so now there are two traffic lights, two keep clear signs and one yellow box junction.”

The family are trying to find alternative routes to drive their children to school.

Most drivers were caught between 5pm and 6pm and on Friday, October 6, 118 penalty charge notices were issued from the camera in one day.

The council explained that prior to the installation of the camera, a full review was carried out.

It was originally introduced because drivers in Horns Road were causing traffic flow delays coming in and out from Perrymans Farm Road.

Paul Lofton, 68, from Icknield Drive, Ilford, has also been caught by the camera. He said: “It’s really diabolical and people in the borough need to be warned about this money box trap.

“It’s just a small portion of your car that gets caught in the box and they are fining people for it.

“They see it as a profitable enterprise for catching cars. I got a £65 fine, and as a pensioner, it’s not an easy thing to pay.”

Mr Lofton appealed his penalty charge on the grounds that drivers are allowed to turn right into a yellow box unless oncoming traffic is preventing you and secondly, due to the slow traffic coming from the nearby shops he believes you should be able to turn right into the box providing the exit is clear.

Nevertheless, Mr Lofton’s appeal was rejected and he was forced to pay the fine or risk paying double the initial amount.

A spokesman for Redbridge Council said: “The box has been there for many years but was not being observed and drivers were blocking the junction and that is why we took the decision to enforce by CCTV.

“It should also be noted that it is the drivers’ responsibility to ensure that the road ahead is clear before entering the box.

“We are looking at the box with a view to reducing its size and that work will take place early next year.”

Mr Bhatt’s petition calling for traffic authorities to look into the matter has been signed 157 times.

In his petition, Mr Bhatt references point number 12.3 in the Traffic Signs Manual issued by the Department of Transport.

The manual states that yellow box markings should not be used, “where traffic streams merge, as it will not be clear which stream has precedence when a gap appears.”

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