Lewisham Council issued 17,508 fines in four months to drivers going through a single modal filter within its Lee Green LTN, a Freedom of Information request has revealed. 

The PCNs have a value of between £1,138,020 and £2,276,040, depending on whether they are paid within two weeks or not (£65 v £130).

The filter with the next highest number of fines issued between November 11, 2020, and March 17, 2021, is Ennersdale Road with 863.

Residents have been calling for better signage at the Dermody Road modal filter as thousands of drivers continue to drive through it.  

The council told the local democracy service that it plans to improve signage but that the majority of people have been following the rules.  

However, just one week ago Annie Kirby and Liz Fox stood at the Dermody Road camera-enforced filter and prevented 204 cars from going through in three hours, which amounted to a potential value of £26,520 in fines.  

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The council partly rolled back the LTN on November 9 to help relieve traffic congestion in neighbouring areas.   

The Dermody Road camera was adjusted to allow vehicles travel one-way west to east, except for those with exemptions such as Blue Badge holders.  

The original signage at the filter was much more obvious, but has since become less so.  

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And despite the filter having been in place since June and the current road signage around it legal, many drivers continue to go through it. 

As a result, residents have accused the council of using the filter as a “cash cow”, rather than trying to prevent vehicles going through.  

Annie, who sent the FOI request, has also been helping people fight PCNs and has criticised the appeal and tribunal process.   

One man was issued 58 PCNs while driving his wife to deliver food for an emergency homeless shelter.  

Ivan Izikowitz’s home address is in north London, but he moved in with his partner during the pandemic.  

He was unknowingly driving through the Dermody Road filter and, as his car was registered to his home address, had no idea he was being fined.  

When he eventually checked his mail, he wrote to the council laying out his case but was rejected, as was his appeal.  

It wasn’t until he decided to go to tribunal that the council waived the majority of his PCNs.  

Ivan said: “I was actually going to go to tribunal because I thought it was quite unjust.  

“I had a look at the Google Street View, which was dated September 2020, and that road had those plant boxes and massive no entry signs painted on the road.  

“All of that is gone now but you still can’t drive up the road. You’ve only got the small signs at the side of the road. 

“I thought it was a bit disingenuous of the council. The no entry signs have been painted over on the roads – it’s not entirely clear.” 

Annie said many of the people she is helping through the appeal process are very stressed. 

“The bottom line is that you’ve got to get a PCN before you know you’ve gone through the filter and that’s not how road signs are supposed to work. They’re just inadequate. 

“These people are not rebels, some just don’t understand the system. 

“It’s these real-life stories – they are the forgotten part of the LTNs. The amount of debt that people will go into with these PCNs. 

“There is nothing from the council, no support. People are borrowing money and paying it back in installments to their families. It really makes me angry,” she said.  

Floyd Morris racked up 18 PCNs last year going through the Manor Park filter and said the rules were unclear.  

He brought 11 to tribunal but they were all rejected. The council has cancelled one as a “gesture of good will”.  

“We’re all for LTNs to a certain extent, but not when local residents are being penalised. 

“There was no consultation – everything I heard about it was from local Facebook groups and by word of mouth.  

“All of us are struggling, we’ve been on short hours – they’re basically fleecing residents.” 

Floyd also said he believes the council is “trying to catch people out” after the enforcement camera was placed further up the pole and is more difficult to see.  

“I feel absolutely disgusted,” he said. 

Earlier this month residents were also left distressed after receiving fines for going the allowed route through the Leahurst Road filter after a fault with the camera.  

The council said any fines issued have been cancelled and drivers who have paid them will “automatically receive a refund”. 

A council spokesperson said: “We apologise to any motorists who have been affected by this software fault and we are working as quickly as possible to resolve the issue.” 

Liz and Annie have asked the council to put signs in roads adjacent to Dermody Road to warn people, and it’s expected soon.  

Liz said: “It’s just a joke, they should cut it all out and have a rethink.  

“Annie works full-time, she has three kids, she knew nothing about this and has done it all off her own back.” 

Annie said: “The council has complete discretion about whether they can waive PCNs or not. I don’t like that, it’s an abuse of power because the person who’s doing it isn’t even trained in road law. 

“There isn’t a trained legal person making that decision on whether they’re going to be kind to that person. Nobody was kind to Floyd. 

“I spoke to one elderly man who had been shielding and on his first trip out to the hospital he was slapped with a PCN,” she said. 

She also said the tribunal system is not fair as some adjudicators treat similar cases differently.  

“If I was to put forward an appeal based on certain grounds and it was on a Monday and it went to Michael, Michael might say ‘no the signs were legal, you shouldn’t have gone through them’.  

“If I put forward the exact same appeal word for word on a Thursday and it was Gary, he would pass it.  

“But the trouble with this system is that it can’t set a precedent,” Annie said.   

A council spokesperson said that, following feedback from residents, it had “increased signage on the approach to the Dermody Road junction to make drivers are aware of the restrictions in operation inside the LTN”.  

“This is under constant review and we will make further changes later this month to ensure the signage in the area is as clear as possible for motorists. 

“Since the signs were installed in November 2020 there has been a significant drop in contraventions so the majority of people are following the rules,” she said.