The curious case of Greenwich camera enforcement against drivers

Long term readers may have seen this site cover Greenwich’s move towards using CCTV cameras to enforce against driving offences across the borough.

Powers have been available in London since 2005 but Greenwich were one of very few authorities to not use them. Including TfL, 31 authorities in the capital used them.

Just three did not: Greenwich, Bromley and Kensington & Chelsea.

Taken from Greenwich Council document in Feb 2019

The authority agreed in 2019 to start using CCTV but it took two years to install. They then messed up the start date by a couple of weeks (that wasn’t including a two week grace period).

Now we can see fines issued at some sites – and totals are incredibly low.

Some sites have as few as a single fine in an entire month.

 

According to figures from Greenwich just five fines were issued at Blackwall Lane where queues jumpers are common.

And no one paid it.

MacBean Street junction in Woolwich

Does anyone who knows the area think that’s credible?

And just the one fine at Shooter’s Hill over the entire month?

Now here’s December:

Blackwall Lane is at 41 fines – which still seems incredibly low and just one paid?

Shooter’s Hill Road has disappeared.

The numbers are very, very odd.

It get’s no less odd well into 2021.

Apparently just two fines issued at Beresford Street in June 2021. I’ve seen more cars turning right into pedestrians crossing at the left-hand only turn on a single walk through (four vehicles to be exact).

Again, very low numbers across the entire month at just about every site.

By the summer traffic was generally about back to normal pre-pandemic levels thus low traffic levels is not an explanation.

Greenwich state these numbers could be due to cameras not working but there’s no specifics.

They also state drivers get used to enforcement, though little to no fines occurred from the very first month.

CCTV location list

Given cameras weren’t cheap and the council are using an external company to provide software something appears to have gone wrong.

Another possibility for low numbers is cameras being manually watched which is strange with AI and automation nowadays – and even if they’re watched for barely five minutes a month it makes little sense.

What it does mean is poor driving at places like Woolwich where drivers head towards crossing pedestrians – and in an area where many local people have raised concerns – is still extremely unlikely to see any kind of enforcement.

Add to parking permit and zone cockups (last week they were installing incorrect signage in Plumstead) and a decade of parking enforcement shambles and well, is anyone surprised?

 

 

 

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John Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

13 thoughts on “The curious case of Greenwich camera enforcement against drivers

  • October 26, 2021 at 3:32 pm
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    Really interesting, so how do we hold them to account on this John?

    Reply
  • October 26, 2021 at 4:02 pm
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    For Blackwall Lane it depends on exactly where the camera(s) is/are. If it is on the southbound Lane where the postcode would suggest I can believe that people only use the bus lane closer to the junction (particularly as I think the bus lane was extended recently). For northbound it may be just where the bus stop/traffic island is at the lane crossover for the A102 slip road – again, I can believe very few people jump through there. If it’s on the A102 exit to stop people turning right and rejoining when the tunnel is backed up, not a chance the number would be that low!

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  • October 26, 2021 at 4:55 pm
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    Tim, I thought the Blackwall Lane camera was to stop traffic coming off the A102 and then going back on. A figure of 5 is plainly ludicrous — as are many of the numbers that Murky has uncovered. What is it with these people?! I am totally against the LTN and many of the cycle lanes due the disastrous effect they have had on congestion and yet I am equally against drivers flouting the law in this way. Fining them is important.

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  • October 26, 2021 at 6:13 pm
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    There has been a lot of speeding along Blackwall Lane, increasing already during 2020. Mostly motorcycles. Blackwall Lane tends to have less traffic after 7pm and is then mistaken for a race track. Given the 0–60 speed of motorcycles some must be going at 60 mph.

    I have been in touch with Greenwich Council about them missing out on lots of money by not having traffic cameras installed. They then told me that was dependent on TfL funding. TfL told me that it was not; the council had three sources of revenue: 1) Government grants 2) Council tax 3) Local business rates – a property tax levied on business premises”.
    The council then said this was correct, but: their department (DRES/Traffic) was funded in its entirety from the Local Implementation Plan (LIP), this funding was then provided by Transport for London to use on approved schemes. The scheme work was two years behind schedule because of lack of funding due to the pandemic.

    I have noticed however that there is a new camera sign towards the access road to the flyover. I think it only appeared two months ago. That’s probably what the fines relate to. It’s just not enough.

    Reply
    • October 26, 2021 at 6:19 pm
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      Greenwich regularly talk complete rubbish about funding. Not sure whether genuinely clueless or disingenuous.

      I’ve covered LIP funding before. Most councils top up TfL funds using parking and developer income. Greenwich at the very bottom in London for doing so.

      In terms of speed cams it’s not down to the council though.

      These traffic contravention cams however are down to boroughs and in Greenwich thats 95 per cent of borough streets. Only red routes are TfL.

      Reply
  • October 26, 2021 at 6:28 pm
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    I see. Yes, there has been lots of back and forth by email with several places. Greenwich traffic team did say though once funding was in place they would prioritise sites with high accident rates or high speed issues. While TfL owned and maintained red routes, they also provided funding to Greenwich to undertake scheme work.

    I’ve also contacted the local MP, but of course there has not been any response.

    Reply
    • October 26, 2021 at 6:33 pm
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      TfL did provide around £2.5m a year to Greenwich. Boroughs then add on supplementary funds. Some like Hammersmith & Fulham would add tens of millions from s106, CIL and parking revenue.

      Greenwich were last among all London Labour councils for doing so, and second bottom of all boroughs if memory serves.

      Whether it’s housing and developer income, or Parking and Highways, revenue is shambolic

      Reply
  • October 27, 2021 at 5:02 pm
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    I’ve heard that Greenwich Council is organising a Grand Opening P*ss-up in the Green Goddess brewery/pub in a few months’ time. Most of the Councillors will be arriving on bikes but some will come by car and park on the double yellows because there’s no enforcement.

    Reply
  • October 27, 2021 at 7:06 pm
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    Their list of CCTV enforcement:

    https://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/info/200259/transport_and_travel/2239/cctv_traffic_enforcement

    doesn’t have the new cameras they said were going live in June 2021 (e.g. Blackwall Lane at Salutation Road and Telcon Way):

    https://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/info/200259/transport_and_travel/2239/cctv_traffic_enforcement

    Are these new cameras even operational? I’ve heard anecdotal evidence that they aren’t actually operating, including from someone claiming to work at the company that manages them. I take it with a pinch of salt but it wouldn’t surprise me.

    Finally, even these new cameras don’t stop people leaving the A102 and rejoining as I imagine the Salutation Way and Telcon Way cameras are simply yellow box enforcement. The A102 departees simply turn into the side roads of Salutation/Telcon, U-turn and then rejoin the main traffic, adding to an already congested road. I can’t imagine the cameras prevent that.

    What really needs to happen is a sign – with ANPR camera enforcement on the off and on-ramps – requiring that those that leave the A102 at this junction during peak congestion hours are not able to rejoin the A102 for 10-15 minutes without a fine. That is the only thing that would prevent this behaviour. Cameras enforcing yellow boxes do nothing to prevent this.

    Reply
  • October 29, 2021 at 5:06 pm
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    Abysmal. Greenwich cannot put people on the ground or have working technology. Not for the last time do I ask what is the point of Greenwich council?

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  • October 30, 2021 at 3:59 pm
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    Anyone know what has happened to the proposal to shut the Northbound A102 On Slip at the Woolwich Road Flyover junction?

    Reply

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