So, the volunteers, who include a few retired residents, housewives and professionals who give up their days off, have become unlikely heroes in this South London borough.
Mr Bennett insists they are not vigilantes. “We are not using angle grinders to cut down the council’s CCTV cameras. Nor are we removing planters. Instead we are public spirited volunteers who are helping motorists be better informed so the council cannot exploit them.”
June Lord, a local resident and volunteer whose mobility is impaired by a connective tissue disorder, said: “The council is ignoring the needs of disabled people. I can’t cycle or walk with ease. But, bus journey times have increased since the LTNs began being introduced.”
These volunteers are the latest attempt to halt the so-called “war on motorists”. It comes after statistics revealed how more than seven million penalty charge notices were issued by Transport for London and the capital’s 32 councils in 2022/23. Of those, three million were given to drivers caught on CCTV cameras disobeying road signs, like driving through LTNs.
Lambeth was one of the top five London authorities after issuing 354,832 fines.
CCTV cameras record the registration plates of vehicles entering the bus filters and any vehicles not allowed in are sent a fine, which is typically £130, although this is reduced to £65 if paid within 14 days.
Mr Bennett added: “I have lived in Streatham Wells for 41 years. In recent years the increase in LTNs has led to a dramatic increase in congestion on the boundary roads at peak times. Motorists are being forced onto main roads bringing with them pollution and delays.”