Generally, owners of large commercial vehicles are used to hearing residents complain about lorries driving through their towns, and many local councils often build lorry restrictions so that large commercial vehicles can only travel on certain roads. However, residents and business owners in Islington are actually calling for a lorry restriction to be removed from Drayton Park road as they claim that it is causing more problems than it is helping, and that they never had a problem with lorries passing through the area in the first place.
Local motorists have been left furious after being baffled by the new lorry restriction, and then receiving fines for driving through it the wrong way. Since November 2012, over five thousand penalty charge notices of £130 have been issued to drivers, which amounts to a staggering £746,330. Even though drivers were given a three month grace period to get used to the new road layout, many are still struggling to understand it, even though it has already been dug up and rebuilt costing the council £132,000.
Leader of the Lib Dem opposition at Islington Council, Councillor Terry Stacy condemned the new lorry restriction and the amount of fines issued to residents and said: “This is the worst layout I have ever heard of in my 14 years as a councillor. It’s another example of the council just screwing as much money out of residents as possible. The council still hasn’t got it right, despite spending a fortune on redesigning it. We’re getting floods of complaints about how confusing it is.”
The council claimed that residents called for the lorry restriction to be built so that large commercial vehicles could not use Drayton Park as a rat-run to travel from Holloway to Finsbury Park, however one resident, Simon Jary denies this and said: “Nobody thinks the lorry issue was a big problem for quite some months before they built it. All it’s doing is pushing lorries onto smaller roads.”
Business owners and lorry owners have also complained about the new restriction, especially as drivers are receiving expensive fines they have to pay on top of their usual costs such as petrol and van insurance. Gleen Tweedie, who owns Premier Plumbing on Drayton Park said: “One of our delivery drivers was ticketed six times. It’s a terrible layout and it’s caused lots of accidents and lots of blow-outs. We have noticed sales decreasing since it was installed.”