Beware council’s misleading parking signs, warns Butcher

Mark Butcher: parking "rant" is well-placed

Mark Butcher: parking “rant” is well-placed

Mark Butcher, the South Croydon-based guitar legend and occasional Test match batsman, has been in touch with Inside Croydon with what he calls a “rant on behalf of all the other dopes that were and will be booked down there”.

Butcher’s ire has been raised by what he sees as deliberately misleading parking restrictions signs on South End, outside what used to be called the Fish and Grill in South Croydon.

Butcher’s distrust of the local authority appears well-placed.

Butcher parking pictureWith road works going on along the main road (to what actual end remains unclear; the council regards this as “improvements”. We shall see), a number of parking bays outside some of the local businesses and restaurants have been subject to a change of times and terms.

Butcher sent us a photograph of the parking suspension sign that the council has placed for the guidance of motorists looking for a place to park.

“At first glance one could be forgiven that parking was suspended from 8am to 5pm from March 28 to June 20,” Butcher said.

The sign is ambiguous – could it mean that parking is restricted between 8am and 5pm on those dates? If suspended for the entire period, why bother including the times of day?

Certainly, some motorists seemed to think so, because on Wednesday evening at 9pm, when Butcher next visited, every parking bay was occupied, and every vehicle had a ticket.

“Clever sign!” Butcher noted, bitterly.

Three months of the council scaring off potential customers with parking fines must please the local traders no end.

Croydon Council may not be very good at a lot of things, but they are in the top five in the country for issuing parking tickets.

In total, 108,409 parking tickets were issued by Croydon Council in 2013, generating around £6.5million in fines. Cushty.

Badly worded and ambiguous parking signs such as the one spotted by Butcher on South End no doubt contribute a chunk to the revenues in 2014.

Of course, the likes of Croydon Tory hard man Phil Thomas, who is responsible for the borough’s roads, never gets a parking ticket: he has two council parking permits which allow him to park wherever he likes. In two cars. Provided he is on council business, of course.

Croydon Council’s (real) motto? Proud to Serve (Themselves).


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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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5 Responses to Beware council’s misleading parking signs, warns Butcher

  1. Butch I am sure you have heard the saying “Stick to knitting”. You will be an excellent cricket coach. Are you planning to become a Croydon councillor and be in charge of filling (or not in some areas)pot holes?

    • You Tories need to make up your minds.

      You bleat if people don’t report street issues (without actually knowing whether the issue has been reported, or sometimes lying to suggest it has not), and then when someone does bring the matter to the attention of a wider audience (usually because of the council’s inaction, or because they created the situation in the first place), you condescending suggest that they “stick to knitting”, as if it is none of their business.

      Unbelievable hypocrisy.

  2. Danny Stanzl says:

    I don’t have any problem understanding that sign, it’s quite obvious what it means.

    They are so slow doing these things though, it’s frustrating half the time you go past, there isn’t actually anything being done! :(, surely if they just hacked into it, it would only take a couple of weeks.

  3. Obviously Mr.Butcher didn’t keep an eye on the ball. Any one can read that sign.

    • Any one who can read can read the sign, Patrick. The issue is with the way it has been – deliberately? – written to mislead. For a span of dates, there is no need to include times of day. Unless you are setting out to mislead people.

      Signs need to be brief and unambiguous. This one is not.

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