Rolling rota of protesters rebel against ‘cash cow’ LTN in Croydon

·3-min read
<p>The volunteers are turning cars away to help avoid fines</p> (Shakeel Yousaf)

The volunteers are turning cars away to help avoid fines

(Shakeel Yousaf)

A rolling rota of volunteers will direct drivers away from “cash cow” traffic cameras as a community in south London rebels against its low traffic neighbourhood (LTN).

A camera has been installed in Parsons Mead in west Croydon to catch motorists who drive down the road despite signs telling them not to - but critics say the signs are unclear.

Further “anger and frustration” has been sparked within the community over how late the council-issued fines are arriving, with some receiving as many as 13 before being made aware.

Shakeel Yousaf, who uses the road to drive to his mosque, said he was first caught out on Christmas Eve and received five fines - but did not receive them until January 15.

He told the Standard: “Knowing how much I'd been going to the mosque, I rang the council to check whether I had any more fines that hadn't been sent out.

Mr Yousaf stopped and warned 228 cars about the LTN in JanuaryShakeel Yousaf
Mr Yousaf stopped and warned 228 cars about the LTN in JanuaryShakeel Yousaf

“They confirmed that 13 were against my name but I only had 6 physically with me at that point. I appealed all 13 with one email, my main argument being the fines were invalid because signs all along Parsons Mead allow anyone to park with pay and display.

“How can you park down a road you can't drive down?”

Mr Yousaf’s experience led him to take action in the form of a one-man protest in January, when he stood in the road and warned 228 motorists about the LTN during three hours.

On Saturday there is a much bigger protest planned by the Parsons Mead Action Group when a rolling rota of volunteers will direct drivers away from driving on the street, as they call on Croydon Council to scrap the scheme.

He continued: “The overwhelming feeling from everyone is anger.

“But not because of the LTN or even the camera which is catching people out - it's because of the way Croydon Council has implemented the scheme so poorly and delayed sending PCNs out.

“People feel there are not enough advance warning signs and the ones that are there are inadequate and confusing.”

The council have since made the signs for the LTN clearer but Mr Yousaf says he wants to see them refund everyone who has had to pay more than a £65 fine.

“I expect Saturday's protest to be the biggest London has seen regarding an LTN and is the work of a community coming together to feel they have the power to take on the 'mighty' council,” he added.

“If other communities feel they're being unfairly treated by their council, I hope they'll be inspired to take action too.”

A spokesperson for Croydon Council said: “We set up this temporary scheme because neighbours concerned about traffic and pollution asked us to, and we’ve since had feedback that these streets are quieter, safer and a better environment.

“If drivers do go past the clear signs and down these restricted roads, they will get a penalty charge notice, but can appeal.

“Out of over 100 appeals to an independent adjudicator on this scheme, over 80 per cent have found in favour of the council.”

Read More

Cabbie found dead in his taxi at Heathrow

Talking Point: Is cleaner air in London worth higher driving costs?

‘Bee afraid’: Watch swarm of bees descend on housing estate

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting