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EXCLUSIVE - The 'moneybox junction' earning grasping council £1.9 MILLION a year: Camera catches twice as many drivers in month after rat run road shut

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 14/01/2020 Vivek Chaudhary For Mailonline

File photo © Getty File photo A notorious yellow box junction – dubbed 'The Moneybox' – has doubled its fines in a month and could rake in its grasping council £1.9m a year, MailOnline can reveal.

The junction in south west London now catches twice as many drivers after the council shut a nearby rat run, forcing all traffic through the yellow grid.

Before the road was shut in October last year 1,330 fines were issued, earning the council £86,450.

a traffic light on a busy city street: The Bagley's Lane Junction with New King's Road, Fulham, south west London, (above, looking west) is seen as a trap by drivers who get stuck in the yellow painted area and are hit with £65 fines from traffic cameras © Provided by Daily Mail The Bagley's Lane Junction with New King's Road, Fulham, south west London, (above, looking west) is seen as a trap by drivers who get stuck in the yellow painted area and are hit with £65 fines from traffic cameras But in November 2,452 drivers were caught, generating fines of £159,380.

a double decker bus on a city street: The number of drivers being hit with fines has almost doubled in the month after the council closed a nearby rat-run used by drivers to avoid the junction. Before the closure 1,330 received fines. But for a month after it was introduced on October 21 the figure jumped to 2,452 © Provided by Daily Mail The number of drivers being hit with fines has almost doubled in the month after the council closed a nearby rat-run used by drivers to avoid the junction. Before the closure 1,330 received fines. But for a month after it was introduced on October 21 the figure jumped to 2,452 Over the next year Hammersmith & Fulham Council, which controls the box, are expected to rake in a whopping £1,912,500. 

a close up of a sign: This diagram shows how drivers get fined if they wait for too long in a yellow box junction. But they sometimes get trapped if the traffic ahead of them stops and they have nowhere to drive © Provided by Daily Mail This diagram shows how drivers get fined if they wait for too long in a yellow box junction. But they sometimes get trapped if the traffic ahead of them stops and they have nowhere to drive

These calculations are based on each motorist paying a £65 fine within 14 days.

a map with text: A map shows how Harwood Terrace (in red) was closed after complaints from residents living down the road of dangers because 400 drivers a day were using the road as a cut through © Provided by Daily Mail A map shows how Harwood Terrace (in red) was closed after complaints from residents living down the road of dangers because 400 drivers a day were using the road as a cut through Rob McGibbon, who lives nearby, blasted the road closure, and subsequent spike in fines as 'a total scam'.

'Hammersmith & Fulham council needs re-open the road urgently. 

'The fact that it has instantly led to this outrageous increase in fines for motorists is unacceptable.

a man looking at the camera © Provided by Daily Mail

'Drivers who are now being forced to use a new route have no idea that they are being funnelled like lemmings into the path of a cash-hungry CCTV fines system.'

The problem centres on the yellow box junction of New King's Road and Bagley's Lane in Fulham, south west London, already known as one of the most profitable in the country, which made the council an estimated £1.6million in 2016. 

Drivers are only supposed to enter a box junction if the exit road or lane is clear. They can't wait inside it if they want to turn right and are stopped from doing so by oncoming traffic or other vehicles queuing to turn right. 

But motorists argue that this junction's traffic lights allow more motorists to enter the controlled area than can leave it and is constantly catching them out.

a sign on the side of a road: Fines at New King's Road junction have almost doubled, catching around 72 drivers a day after Hammersmith & Fulham Council shut nearby Harwood Terrace (above) on a six month trial © Provided by Daily Mail Fines at New King's Road junction have almost doubled, catching around 72 drivers a day after Hammersmith & Fulham Council shut nearby Harwood Terrace (above) on a six month trial Harwood Terrace, a small road just to the south of the junction, was used by local drivers to avoid the junction altogether.

But on October 21, the council shut the road on a six month trial leading to a furious row, with those who live on it supporting the move while nearby residents opposing it. 

a car parked on a city street: Before its closure, Harwood Terrace was used as a rat-run by drivers to avoid New King's Road junction but now they are forced to use the junction and risk getting hit with fines © Provided by Daily Mail Before its closure, Harwood Terrace was used as a rat-run by drivers to avoid New King's Road junction but now they are forced to use the junction and risk getting hit with fines

The road was closed as part of an experiment after the council said 400 vehicles an hour were using it as a 'rat run'.

At the time, local resident Charlie Cooper welcomed the closure: 'I've lived here 14 years, and I've been knocked off my bike here and on New King's Road.

'This road was very dangerous because it's small, there's little room so it becomes a game of chicken.'

Related: Every type of speed camera in the UK revealed (WhatCar?)

Local MP Greg Hands has also waded into the row, writing last month to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps asking him to intervene to get the local council to revoke its decision.

Hammersmith & Fulham Council maintain that Harwood Terrace was closed following extensive public consultation and that they took the decision after residents asked them for help.

a close up of a map: Hammersmith & Fulham Council raked in £86,450 before the road closure - but in the month afterwards that figure shot up to £159,380, if everyone caught pays their £65 on time © Provided by Daily Mail Hammersmith & Fulham Council raked in £86,450 before the road closure - but in the month afterwards that figure shot up to £159,380, if everyone caught pays their £65 on time

A spokesman added: 'We closed Harwood Terrace to address residents’ fears over the 400 cars an hour using their narrow residential road as a rat run.  

'We use Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) to help keep traffic in the borough moving, and the vast majority of drivers are able to get through box junctions without breaking the rules.

'Any revenue from PCNs is used to maintain and improve transport in the borough, including giving free travel to older residents and disabled people.'

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