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Anger over 'idiotic' parking fines in Selwood Drive, Barnet
Drivers have been left “baffled” after receiving parking fines for leaving their cars outside their homes.
People in Selwood Drive, East Barnet, are forced to park with two wheels on the kerb to allow others to pass down the narrow street.
Three years ago, Barnet Borough Council gave them permission to park in this way – but around 30 neighbours were left furious when they awoke to yellow tickets on their cars this week.
Although the fines currently have a value of £0, they will be ordered to pay a charge within the next two weeks, unless they stop leaving their cars on the kerb.
But not all the residents have drives – and they say the gap between their cars and the pavement is big enough for a buggy or a wheelchair to pass through.
Householder Amy Olson said: “It’s idiotic. The road won’t suddenly get wider, and it’s futile to give us these warnings when nothing will change.
“It’s been done shadily, when we’re all at home in the evening. We’ve been given no alternatives and are at a loss of what to do.
“It’s a quiet and friendly road and a dead end – this serves nobody. I can’t stress enough that all we want is a solution of how to park safely, but it feels like the council have their fingers in their ears.”
If residents were to park on the road, they claim it would be too narrow to allow other cars – including ambulances, fire engines and bin refuse trucks to pass through.
The 34-year-old mother, who had an unplanned home birth three months ago, says her story may not have been a positive one if the paramedics had not been able to get to her house.
She added: “It could have been life or death. If we park where they want us to park, the services we pay for in our council tax would be cut off to us.”
Last week, residents moved their cars onto the road at the request of a parking warden – who then became trapped in his car until neighbours finally agreed to move their cars back.
Serena Wilson, who also lives in Selwood Drive, said: “We’ve had an almighty row with the council when trying to prove our point.
“It’s totally baffled us. We’re absolutely angry about this, we’re raging. They’ve given us a lot of grief.
“Having tried to enter conversations with the council we get nowhere. It’s mental.”
There are currently no parking restrictions on the street.
Residents feel a reasonable alternative would be planned parking bays on the curb – something Times Series blogger and parking expert Mr Mustard agrees with.
He said: “The council could mark the pavement out. If they’ve already sent the residents a letter saying they won’t ticket anyone in that road for parking on the kerb, they’re bound by it.
“However, it is illegal to park with two wheels up on the kerb. They could try to appeal their tickets, but I think they’ll lose.”
Barnet Borough Council claims it has been receiving complaints from disabled residents about not being able to use the pavement in Selwood Drive because of the number of cars parked there.
The statement said: “It is because the problems have continued that the council has decided to take action by introducing an initiative where residents can still park on the kerb but in marked bays which leaves enough space for residents to safely use the pavement.
“If drivers do not park in these bays, they will then be issued with a parking ticket.”
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