A traffic adjudicator has ruled that some council signs for restricted-access streets are ‘inadequate’
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fines for driving into a Low Traffic Neighbourhood in Broad Green has had 12 of his 13 PCNs – penalty charge notices – withdrawn by Croydon Council.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.
“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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