Jan 27 2013 by Hannah Bewley, Harrow Observer
A DRIVER is concerned that a box junction in Wembley is a “cash cow” for the council.
Angelo Calisi, 67, was given a ticket in October last year after he was forced to slam on his brakes in Empire Way and paid a £130 fine after losing an appeal. He said that the junction, which was painted unexpectedly in September 2012, is guaranteed to make Brent Council a lot of money as traffic is always busy and congested at rush hours and at lunch time.
The box junction is located in Empire Way at the turning on to Royal Route, which services a car park for Wembley Stadium that, according to Mr Calisi, is never very busy.
He said: “People just don’t know and it is impossible to avoid the whole area, they are making money out of people. It slows traffic down on a road which is already really busy. I stood here for three hours one day looking at how many people were caught and it was one every few minutes. I didn’t see any cars come down Royal Route. The road leads nowhere so I don’t know why they have painted it in.”
Mr Calisi, who is retired, said he was in the car with his wife, Adri, on October 11 when the car in front of him slammed on its brakes and the back wheels of his car were caught in the box.
The Empire Way resident said: “It is a scam. There are no signs to tell you and people who come to visit for events at Wembley Stadium don’t know about it.
“For residents it backs up the traffic even more and it can take two hours to get back home on event days from Forty Lane.”
The original fine is £65 for anyone who is caught in the yellow box, but this is raised if an appeal fails or it is not paid in time.
Mr Calisi said: “It is being used as a cash cow, people like me can’t afford to pay these huge fine.”
Brent Council issued 4,055 penalty charge notices to drivers contravening the box junction between September 1, 2012, and January 18 this year.
A council spokesperson said: “Waiting in a yellow box is a clear violation of the Highway Code, can be dangerous and holds up other drivers, causing traffic congestion. We’d prefer people to follow the rules but they will be fined if they drive poorly in this way.
“Drivers should be familiar with the Highway Code and we ran a major publicity campaign to remind them when we were given the powers to enforce moving traffic violations.”