Merton Council

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Tackling congestion

Traffic congestion has been named by Merton residents as their 3rd biggest concern in each of the last eight Annual Residents' Surveys.

On this page we will explain how we plan to use new technology to tackle traffic congestion, improve safety outside schools, and improve bus journey times.

For a full list of locations where we use CCTV enforcement please visit our CCTV enforcement locations page. The list has been updated to show those locations where the new cameras will be used.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR)

From June 2016, we will use new cameras that use Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) to record motorists who enter bus lanes when not permitted, or perform banned manoeuvres such as stopping in a yellow box junction or turning right where not permitted.

We have made this change because our previous cameras required a human operator and we do not have enough cameras to effectively monitor every location. We previously used 5 CCTV vehicles and 3 fixed cameras to enforce 50 moving traffic locations plus schools and bus stops within the borough.

41 new cameras have been installed at locations across the borough, which will help us to reduce congestion by ensuring that busy junctions are not obstructed. Our fleet of CCTV vehicles has been reduced from 5 to just 2 and these will only be used to record motorists who stop on school entrance markings or at bus stops.

How enforcement helps

ANPR cameras monitor every location simultaneously 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and record short clips of vehicles that break the rules. The clips are then sent to a team of reviewing officers who confirm that a contravention occurred. A PCN is then sent by post to the owner of the vehicle.

Issuing PCNs deters motorists from entering bus lanes, stopping in box junctions, or making banned turns. We call this 'improving compliance' as it means that more motorists are complying with the rules.

The table below shows 3 bus lane locations where CCTV enforcement has been particularly effective at improving compliance. There has been a 90% reduction in the number of motorists entering the Hartfield Road bus lane, which means that buses can travel down that bus lane unobstructed.

Bus lane

PCNs issued

(First 12 months of enforcement)

PCNs issued

(most recent 12 months)


Hartfield Road 7,663 670 -91%
Upper Green East 9,487 3,825 -60%
London Road (opposite Langdale Avenue) 5,503 2,876 -48%

Unfortunately we have not seen the same increases in compliance at moving traffic contravention locations because we don't have enough cameras to monitor these locations.

By improving our ability to enforce moving traffic contraventions, and focusing our mobile CCTV units on enforcing school entrance markings, we aim to reduce congestion on the borough's roads and improve safety outside schools.

Related pages

Contact us

Merton Parking Service
Merton Civic Centre
London Road

Telephone: 020 8545 4661 (10.00am - 4.00 pm Mon-Fri)

This page was last updated on Wednesday 13 July 2016

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