Broad Green driver has 12 penalty notices dropped by council

A traffic adjudicator has ruled that some council signs for restricted-access streets are ‘inadequate’

Shakeel Yousaf’s sign was a lot clearer than those used by Croydon Council

A motorist who accumulated more than £845 in fines for driving into a Low Traffic Neighbourhood in Broad Green has had 12 of his 13 PCNs – penalty charge notices – withdrawn by Croydon Council.

The council may have to issue many more refunds to angry drivers, too, after the traffic adjudicator, in a separate case, upheld another motorist’s appeal that claimed that road signs around a school street in South Croydon are “inadequate”.

The criticisms of the council’s poor signage for LTNs and school streets are another serious set-back for Steve Iles, the council director of public realm, who recently had to remove all planters from LTNs in Crystal Palace and Upper Norwood, where ANPR cameras – automatic number-plate recognition – are due to be installed in a significantly altered scheme.

It was ANPR cameras which spotted Shakeel Yousaf driving into Parsons Mead Road’s LTN 13 times – and generated £845-worth of fines.

“I didn’t even know I was breaking new road rules until Croydon Council sent me my first five [PCNs] at the same time,” Yousaf said.

Yousaf described the placement of the signs around the Parsons Mead Road scheme as “an absolute scam”.

In January, Yousaf staged a one-man protest at the road junction, warning other drivers not to make the costly turn into the LTN. “In three hours and with help of people who joined my cause, we stopped 228 cars – this would’ve amounted to a minimum of £15,000 in fines.”

Yousaf claims that the exercise proved his point that his penalty charges were not just because he had been careless – though he has not offered an explanation for why he repeated the manoeuvre another eight times after receiving the first notifications.

Not all Croydon’s school streets are as clearly signposted as they might be

“Hundreds and hundreds of drivers find the signs unclear and confusing,” he said.

The council has now cancelled all but one of the penalty charges imposed on Yousaf. He is now taking that on appeal to the adjudicator.

“This isn’t over. They need to improve the signs for the hundreds still being trapped.”

The council’s failure to provide clear and unambiguous signage elsewhere in the borough has been proven. Penalty charges issued to motorists who have turned into the Haling Road school street could see further cancelled penalties and refunded fines, after one driver appealed successfully.

The road, the home of Harris Haling Park primary school, is used as a cut-through between Selsdon Road and Brighton Road by hundreds of drivers. It has been designated as a school street since September 2020.

According to most of those who have had a £60 fine drop through their letterbox, the warning signs for the school zone is not visible until they have already driven into the road.

In a successful appeal last month, the London Tribunals Environment and Traffic Adjudicators ruled that “the signage in place was difficult to see and therefore the signage in place is not adequate”.

Those affected by the Broad Green LTN have started a petition which, significantly, does not call for the removal of the scheme, but for clearer, better warnings signs on “all roads leading to the ANPR camera positioned on Parsons Mead and Handcroft Road”. You can view the petition here.


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14 Responses to Broad Green driver has 12 penalty notices dropped by council

  1. Ian Kierans says:

    You have to ask why Shakeel was forced to take this so far when it was obvious from the outset this was poorly done. At what stage will Croydon Council and Councillors including Broad Green ones sit back and think how they took a good idea and mucked it up ? Perhaps then they might begin to retrieve the voters they are losing. Shakeel should get recognition for his public service in seeing this through and the effort he put in.

  2. Pete Jenkins says:

    Quite right too. Well done sir.
    For Haling Road, if the signs were inadequate from September then all those fined should get refunds. Having driven along there during the Christmas hols when the schools were off, there is no way that I would have known that this was a “school street”.
    It was only later hearing of local unrest that I walked down there and saw for myself that the signage was rubbish. Croydon Council – if you’re going to fleece the motorists then do it correctly, not in a half-hearted manner. No doubt Negrini, Newman and team had a say in these actions.

  3. Lewis White says:

    Looking at the T’internet, I sought a Highway Code sign for a “School Street”.
    No such luck.

    I recalled that in the 1950’s there used to be “Play streets”, where traffic was banned. I suppose that as there were no cars in mamy areas up tio the 1960’s they could do such things, I wondered if there are signs like this now. So such luck.

    There are signs with pictiures of children, relating to the existence of schools. They look like they date from the 1950/ 1960’s. Very clear –like the wonderful one of “Elderly people” or the one of wiggly tyre tracks showing skid hazard area, a steam train crossing a road, or an open bridge across a canal etc etc. We all have our favourites.

    It seems that the concept of “School Streets” is limited so far to London, and that no-one has dreamed up as yet a simple sign mentioning the words “School zone — traffic restrictions” with a useful logo that the approaching motorist can easily pick out as making the street “special” .

    It seems to me that there is a real need for a national reveiw of the 1960’s road signage , to create or re-create modern set of road signage for areas of environmental control, which shows a graphic with easily seen and understood words.

    — a school zone (all day) with a 10mph limit
    — a school zone (no entry or traffic speed restriction during morning and afternoon times)
    — a Play street , with a very low speed limit, of 5mph

    are three that come readily to mind.

    Why not also “Natural Area” sign for places like Farthing Downs in Coulsdon, where a public highway goes across the downs , which are grazed by cattle and sheep ?

    Looking at the poverty of material on the subject, it looks like central Government is not taking a lead. Is there a dearth of national vision ?

    I bet that back in 1945, we would have quickly created new signage that imparts a clear message.
    “New signs for a safer Britain”.

    I can see the cinema short film news ads , and billboard posters now, of smiling, be-satcheled school boys and girls walking hand in hand to school down a sunlit, 1960’s street with no cars, and with whistling postmen on bikes with red canvas bags on the handlebars, and cheery milkmen with clinking bottles in galvansied metal carriers. Ah, those were the days !!!

    Bring back Mr Marples.

    • Ian Kierans says:

      You are right about signage review – I went down there in early January as a friend got a ticket and it is where i get my MOT done also. Strangely I was not alone walking that street but I was the only one who had not got a ticket (lucky me) The signage at Parsons mead just looks like it is advertising a 20mph zone only with no mention of no access to non residents – the ANPR signage just makes this more like it is a speeding camera. A simple no access except emergency vehicles is simpler – any resident getting a permit can knowingly ignore the sign – anyone without a permit will not enter in error. The 20mph with a car and a bike makes it appear like a speed sign – very few keep up with Highway code updates and yes that is there fault perhaps but signage should be explanatory and tested – I see no data for Croydon doing so before implementation.

  4. Andrew Seaton says:

    It’s a scam. I got trapped in the new prohibited Parsons Mead after turning left out of Garderners Road with no advance warning signs to the new system! No going back, trapped in Croydon Councils latest money making scheme!

    • Paula says:

      I did exactly this today there was no sign to warn no left turn by the time I turned there where on coming cars and cars behind me. It was to late I was already by the sign before it was visible, this shouldn’t be allowed. Seems they are being underhanded to trap motorists seems we are paying to get Croydon council out of bankruptcy. I wonder how much money that camera has accumulated. There was four cars behind me 😩

  5. Shak Yousaf says:

    Thank you very much, Inside Croydon for covering my story. The reason I continued to drive another 8 times is because I received 5 fines in one go. But they arrived so late that by that time I had already driven many, many more times so I knew more would come in the post.

  6. Helena Jones says:

    Thank you for your advice and help

  7. James Lee says:

    Mr yousaf…you are 100 percent correct…I’m so sorry about your fines, £845 pounds is a lot of money for the hard working man on the street to pay…probably 2 weeks wages for driving down a street.. ive been fined similar to you also for driving down their recently….and I didn’t really notice that Sign……it’s a lot of money for me to pay also…

  8. May says:

    I have received two for Pawsons Mead. There should be advance warning in all directions or entry points to the road. CC are doing this on purpose to make money for the gross mismanagement of tax payers money. This is disgusting in a middle of a pandemic when people are trying to survive in. They have wasted money in buying Croydon park hotel, Fairfield renovations, building a new municipal unnecessary, buying billions of wheely bins that were not required and propping up Brick By Brick paying off the the head of the council and a lot more.

    I am currently, appealing both tickets. Thank you Mr Yousaf

  9. Leo says:

    Anyone who has received more than 1 PCN only needs to pay for 1, and the other PCN’s can be cancelled.

    The parking ticket appeal service parkingmateuk.com helps you write appeals for any penalty charge notice including the Croydon ones.

    If you have multiple tickets:
    – Go to parkingmateuk.com and click “appeal a penalty charge”
    – Enter your details
    – Select the option that you have received more than 1 PCN
    – Select the option that you “offer the council to pay for 1 pcn if they will cancel the rest”
    – Add any other details or information to your appeal

    The app will generate your appeal letter and send it to Croydon Council instantly with a confirmation email sent to you.

    If Croydon refuse the appeal, you can send the request to the tribunal but in most cases, we have helped customers to only pay 1 PCN and the others cancelled.

    I hope this helps. I hope this helps with parking fines on Parson’s mead.

  10. Mehmood says:

    Sadly the councillors for ti’s fairfield ward are all in on this honey strap of an idea. They have no interests in caring or benefitting the residents,. I sent countless text, voice mail and emails to the three councillors of this ward in relation to a parking/Pcn dispute with Croydon Council, however non of the three ever replied back to me. They call this serving the community? My foot. This is from a Labour Council, this is what they think about local working class people. It s all hypocracy and they only have self financial interests. Being a Councillor is a cushy do nothing job. This is why they never reply to people s needs. I will never vote labour again.

  11. David Hill says:

    I passed through this road on 27th April, I appealed on lack of signs and diversions, just received the rejection letter.

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