A single yellow box made a London council up to £1million in fines in just 12 months as critics call the scheme a ‘stealth tax’ on motorists.
The ‘cash cow’ traffic marking in Elmers End is the borough of Bromley’s biggest yellow box earner.
It lies on Croydon Road and is designed to keep nearby traffic lights from growing too congested, allowing motorists to turn into a small side road, Langley Road.
It is currently catching out an average of 22 drivers a day, or 8,118 a year in 2022 – with each penalty charge costing a driver £130.
It means it could have netted Bromley Council £1,055,340 in just 12 months. The fine is halved if the driver pays in two weeks – but that still would have made the authority £527,670.
The yellow box is designed to stop motorists blocking other cars from turning left off Croydon Road
Bromley Council made up to £1million in fines from a single yellow box (pictured) on Elmers End in just 12 months
The yellow box caught out an average of 22 drivers a day, or 8,118 a year in 2022 – with each penalty charge costing a driver £130
Bromley Council handed out 18,255 yellow box fines in just five places in 2022 – making a maximum of £2.3million.
All in all the authority handed out 25,425 fines last year, making up to £2.59million and 70 per cent were from just five boxes.
The figure is more than ten times the previous year, when 2,427 were dished out.
Traffic Management Act regulations give the power to authorities throughout England to issue Penalty Charge Notices for contraventions detected using a camera and recording equipment.
The one at the Elmers End yellow box is placed on a tall pole opposite a newsagents.
It was the box junction that drivers were most likely to fall foul of last year, followed by 3,229 fines given to those who drove into one at Bromley Road close to Shortlands Station, while a further 3,050 charges were handed to those who drove into a box beside Bromley South Station.
The final two top spots can be found on Crofton Road at Orpington Station and Cray Avenue and the Cray Valley junction in St Mary Cray, amounting to 2,072 and 1,786 fines.
All in all the authority handed out 25,425 fines last year, making up to £2.59million and 70 per cent were from just five boxes
Bromley was the last of all London boroughs to take over the responsibility of enforcing moving traffic restrictions from the Met Police in 2021.
In the borough, CCTV is used to enforce school zig zag restrictions, bus lane contraventions, banned right, left and U turns, no vehicle entry roads, yellow no stopping box junctions and vehicle type access restrictions.
Labour Councillor Jeremy Adams, who represents the nearby Clock House ward, said the yellow box fines were a ‘stealth tax’ on motorists.
He added: ‘The Conservatives claim to be on the side of motorists – but this obscene volume of fines from just one camera shows they see motorists as a cash cow.’
Cllr Nicholas Bennett (Con), Executive Councillor for Transport, Highways & Road Safety, said: ‘The council has no wish to issue any penalty charge notices, with Bromley being the last borough in London to take over this responsibility from the police.
The marking are designed to keep nearby traffic lights from growing too congested, allowing motorists to turn into a small side road
‘When enforcement commenced just 18 months ago, this was publicised, with information also being published on the council’s website and the various rules outlined in the Highway Code.’
Regarding the junction at Elmers End, he added: ‘Although the boxes are properly signed, following the moving of the bus stop further away from the junction I have approved the installation of an additional sign behind where the buses stop.
‘There are costs associated with this work but as with parking, any surplus income actually directly supports transport-related work.’
A recent report by the RAC found there were problems with 90 per cent of yellow box junctions – leading to motorists being unfairly fined.
Where 27 councils in England want to enforce 111 yellow box junctions
Medway Council (4)
- Rock Avenue junction with the A2, Gillingham
- A2 Watling Street, junctions with Ash Tree Lane and Canterbury Street, Gillingham
- Gibraltar Hill junction with A230 Maidstone Road, Chatham
- Cuxton Road, High Street junction with Gun Lane, Strood
Hertfordshire County Council (2)
- Adderley Road where it meets The Causeway, Bishop’s Stortford
- Jackson Square multi-storey car park exit, Bishop’s Stortford
Newcastle City Council (2)
- Christon Road / Great North Road (two in same location)
Bradford City Council (2)
- Godwin Street and Westgate
- Godwin Street and Sunbridge Road
South Gloucestershire Council (12)
- Filton roundabout A38 Gloucester Road North junction with B4056 Southmead Road and A4174 Link Road ring road (four in same location)
- Hambrook roundabout, M32 junction 1 (four in same location)
- Aztec West roundabout, the A38 Gloucester Road junction with Park Avenue and Bradley Stoke Way (four in same location)
Gloucestershire County Council (2)
- Bruton Way, junction with Market Parade, Gloucester
- Lansdown Road, junction with Parabola Road/Montpellier Street Cheltenham
Devon County Council (4)
- Exe Bridges, Exeter (multiple in same location, estimated)
- Penn Inn, Roundabout Newton Abbot (multiple in same location, estimated)
Bath and North East Somerset Council (1)
- Charles St/Monmouth Street, Bath
Oldham Council (7)
- A62 Manchester Street – northwest side of Manchester Street where the tram route crosses over the road (two in same location)
- B6194 Glodwick Rd at the junction of Hamilton Street – opposite the back of the Hopwood House Surgery
- Huddersfield Road at the junction of Livesey Street – outside the Damasgo restaurant
- Huddersfield Road at the junction of Holt Street southwest bound – between the Weavers Arms and Minders Arms pubs
- A62 Manchester Road at the junction of Stanley Road and Ashfield Street – next to the Safestore Self Storage facility
- A62 Manchester Road at the junction with the M60 Junction 22
Manchester City Council (5)
- Great Ancoats Street/Oldham Road/Oldham Street
- Ashton Old Road/Chancellor Lane/Fairfield Street
- Kirkmanshulme Lane / Mount Road
- Stockport Road junction with Dickenson Road and Stanley Grove
- Palatine Road / Princess Parkway
Liverpool City Council (4)
- New Quay/George’s Dock Gates/St Nicholas Place/Chapel Street northbound
- New Quay/George’s Dock Gates/St Nicholas Place/Chapel Street southbound
- St Anne Street outside Liverpool Community Fire Station
- Whitechapel/Hood Street/Crosshall Street
Buckinghamshire Council (2)
- Gerrards Cross – Packhorse Road junction with Station Road
- High Wycombe – Marlow Hill junction with School Close
Central Bedfordshire Council (1)
- Church Street at the junction with White Lion Retail Park service road, Dunstable
Hampshire County Council (2)
- Leigh Road junction with M3 Southbound Slip Road, Eastleigh
- A3057 Alma Road, Romsey (outside fire station)
Kent County Council (2)
- Junction 1b Princes Road Interchange, northeast section, Dartford
- Junction 1b Princes Road Interchange, southwest section, Dartford
Oxfordshire County Council (5)
- Botley Interchange
- Hinksey Hill Interchange (four in same location)
Reading Borough Council (17)
- Junction of London Street with Queen’s Road
- Junction of Oxford Road with Bedford Road
- Junction of Oxford Road with Grovelands Road
- Junction of Church Street with Church Road
- The Oracle Gyratory (three in same location)
- Junction of London road with Eldon Road and Craven road
- Junction of Queens road and Sidmouth Street
- Junction of Kings Road With Orts Road and Eldon Road
- Junction of Wokingham Road with London Road
- Junction of London Road with Cholmeley Road
- Junction of London Road with Kendrick Road
- Junction of A33 and Rose Kiln Lane
- Junction of Bath Road and Berkeley Avenue
- Junction of Bath Road and Burghfield Road
- Junction of A329 and the A33
Surrey County Council (2)
- Dennis Roundabout, Guildford (two in same location)
Trafford Council (7)
- White City Circle (A56 Chester Road / Regent Road roundabout) (three in same location)
- A56 northbound from Junction 7 of the M60 onto the A56 (four in same location)
Leeds City Council (2)
- St Peter’s Street/Duke Street/York Street – city centre
- Stanningley Road/Armley Ridge Road – Armley
Wokingham Borough Council (1)
- Easthampstead Road, Wokingham
Walsall Council (3)
- Littleton Street West at New College Way and Wisemore (two in same location)
- Littleton Street West at Stafford Street
Salford City Council (4)
- Chapel Street/Trinity Way
- Regent Road/Oldfield Road
- Chorley Road/Civic Centre Access
- Irwell Street/Trinity Way
Herefordshire Council (8)
- A438 / A49 Junction (Steels), Hereford
- A438 Eign Street / Aldi junction, Hereford
- A49 Edgar Street / Tesco roundabout, Hereford
- A49 Victoria Street / Barton Road, Hereford
- Blueschool Street, Hereford
- Commercial Road / Stonebow Road, Hereford
- Commercial Road / Union Walk, Hereford
- Commercial Square (outside The Kerry), Hereford
Sheffield City Council (3)
- Queens Road and Bramall Lane
- Glossop Road and Upper Hanover Street
- Hoyle Street
North Northamptonshire Council (4)
- Kettering – London Road / St Mary’s Road
- Kettering – London Road / Bowling Green Road
- Rushden – High Street / Church Street
- Rushden – Newton Road / Rectory Road
Leicester City Council (3)
- Abbey Street / Gravel Street yellow box junction
- Vaughan Way / Causeway Lane yellow box junction
- Southgates underpass merge with Vaughan Way