'Nobody consulted us about the restrictions' - neighbours fuming over parking fines (From Times Series)
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'Nobody consulted us about the restrictions' - neighbours in The Fairway, Mill Hill, fuming over parking fines
Neighbours have declared a “parking crisis” in their narrow street after they were slapped with hefty parking fines in what they thought was an unrestricted area.
Temporary double yellow lines were painted around The Fairway, Mill Hill, four years ago during building work to create a new school.
When the work was complete in 2012 the lines were never removed – but neighbours assumed they would be unenforceable as they had not been informed of any changes.
However two months ago, the householders – who have no driveways – have been slapped with countless fines.
Although they claim they were not consulted, Barnet Borough Council claims it has sent two letters to people living in The Fairway about the changes - one in June and one in October 2013.
Sheethal Obrhai, 56, said: “We are at our wits' end with this. It is such nonsense.
“They’ve not even consulted with us or let us know that the lines are now permanent. Is that how the council treats its residents? Are we really such a low priority to them?
“We’re left very confused about where we can park now, all the while having to fork out all this money for parking fines.”
After months of complaints, council officers finally agreed to look into the situation at a meeting of the Hendon Residents Forum last Wednesday.
Wardens enforce the area only in the mornings, meaning neighbours regularly wake up to a ticket.
They claim the only alternative place to park is often a ten-minute walk away, something that many are reluctant to do because of safety concerns.
But when residents return home in the afternoons, they are often faced with nowhere to park as the spaces are taken up by parents on the school run at The Fairway School.
However requests to create driveways at the front of their properties or give residents parking permits have been turned down.
Mrs Obrhai, a mother-of-two, added: “They say it’s about safety of the children but that’s ridiculous – I don’t see how us leaving our cars outside our homes could create danger.
“We’re not near a station or anything so we don’t need to protect our spaces against commuters.
“It’s a parking crisis and we need help to sort this out.”
Others claim the yellow lines have been painted “haphazardly” as in some places they are just 5m long.
A total of 27 neighbours have signed a petition calling on Barnet Borough Council to erase the yellow lines.
Ion Muntanu, who has received two fines, said: “It’s ridiculous – I don’t understand how they can ticket us without prior warning or letting us know the restrictions have changed.”
Barnet Borough Council claims the permanent lines were introduced after a consultation with people living nearby.
However, the neighbours say they were not consulted about their views and would not have agreed to it.
The statement added: “The on-going requirement to retain the lines was reviewed last June taking into account road safety conditions around the school and a consultation carried out with residents.
"Following this consultation, revised markings were introduced by way of a traffic management order.
“Residents have since requested the parking restrictions be reviewed again, which we have agreed to do. If any new proposals arise following this review, residents will again be consulted before changes are made.
“Each crossover application will be reviewed on its merits, taking into account factors such as sufficient space to park a car without it overhanging the footway and proximity to trees.”
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