Brentford High Street Parking Trap?
Council accused of putting up deliberately confusing signs
Angry residents are accusing the Council of setting traps for people parking on Brentford High Street by putting up contradictory signs about when and where you can park.
Residents have been fined for using the parking bays outside the Nat West Bank. In the belief that it is a pay and display bay, they go to the ticket machine which says that charges apply between 9.30am and 4.30pm. However another smaller sign indicates that parking is restricted between 8am and 6.30pm (See picture left).
Council officers claim that anyone with a basic knowledge of the Highway Code should be able to interpret the signs correctly but the information given has proven confusing with many people getting a number of tickets before they realised what they had been doing wrong. As the tickets were issued based on evidence supplied by a CCTV camera they were unaware they had committed an offence until the penalty notices arrived in the post.
Cllr. Matt Harmer, who represents Brentford for Labour said, "It's right that parking on the High Street is managed properly. If the signage is confusing and sending contradictory messages then that is something that needs to be addressed. "
Barry Segal of the web site www.appealnow.com says that all tickets issued for this bay are illegal because the last bay in the rank should have a double white line and not a single one.
The signs on the other side of the road are similarly confusing. There is a larger red sign saying that you should not park in the bus lane which is operational only from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and there are bays marked out in the bus lane and a ticket machine asking for payment from 10 a.m. But smaller plates say no waiting from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. See picture below:
Several residents are now planning to appeal the tickets they have been given on the grounds that the signs are misleading. Hounslow Council is likely to reject such appeals but residents can then take their appeal to the parking adjudicator where the success rate of Hounslow residents has been very high.
Many residents believe that parking attendants in the borough have been given much higher quotas for the PCNs they need to issue in order that the Council can achieve their objective of keeping the headline Council Tax rise next year to a minimum. This, it is claimed, has resulted in parking attendants focusing on 'soft' targets. Worshippers at St. John's Church have traditionally parked with one wheel on the pavement to allow traffic to pass down a one way street but now wardens are visiting the area whilst services are on to ticket people attending Mass. There have also been complaints from a Mosque in Hounslow that Friday lunchtime services are being targetted. Local nurseries are also being targeted with people dropping off and picking up receiving tickets even though it is claimed they are legally entitled to wait briefly on a single yellow line or in a CPZ to ensure younger children reach their destination safely.
October 26, 2007