Angry Chingford residents halt double yellow lines being painted

Residents take matters into own hands after objecting to new parking restrictions on street
By Josh Mellor, Local Democracy Reporter

Residents argued with workers and a council officer, before attempts to paint the double yellow lines were abandoned (credit Debora Wright)
Residents argued with workers and a council officer, before attempts to paint the double yellow lines were abandoned (credit Debora Wright)

Workers have been blocked from painting double yellow lines on a Chingford road by angry residents who claimed they had not been given notice.

Earlier today (17th June) a stand-off occurred between residents of Chivers Road, Chingford, and workers contracted to paint double yellow lines.

In December last year the council approved plans for no-parking lines on one side of the road, arguing more space is needed for emergency vehicles and waste collection.

Residents, 52 of whom objected in a petition, insist they heard nothing further until this morning when a lorry appeared bearing the sign “ROADMARKING”.

Debora Wright, who joined the protest, said the only notice of planned works being given was a sign warning drivers not to park on one side of the road due to “drainage maintenance works”.

The council, meanwhile, maintains residents were notified the lines would be painted in February, adding that they are “crucial” to allow emergency vehicles and bin lorries to pass through the road.

Debora told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “We won today because they didn’t tell us, you’ve got to have proper signage about when they’re doing it.

“The irony is they put the sign up saying ‘drainage maintenance’, [the council officer] pointed towards the word ‘maintenance’. 

“You cannot call the lines maintenance, something has to be there for you to maintain it, you don’t implement double yellow and call it maintenance.”

Debora added that only two days ago her complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman over the council’s handling of a public consultation on double-yellow lines was rejected.

Issues she raised included the council not releasing findings of the consultation and rejecting the possibility of curb parking, which some residents felt could widen space on the road.

Chivers Road residents told the LDRS the workers left to paint another road, then returned, but eventually went home after waiting for hours in the heat.

Fellow resident Julie Anderson said there were “lots of angry people,” with one threatening to lie in the road before the workers left.

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She added that putting up a “drainage maintenance” sign to paint double yellow lines was “sneaky”.

Residents of Hurst Avenue, Chingford, also found planned yellow lines had been painted on their road today after a “drainage maintenance” sign was put up to keep the road clear.

Hurst Avenue resident Janine Phillips wrote on Facebook: “We were aware this was happening, even though the majority of residents did not want this.

“However the workmen advised that they were using the ‘opportunity’ of the road being restricted for the drains to paint the lines.

“How could the council use the minor task of cleansing drains to install double yellow lines down the whole length of the street?”

Valley ward councillor Afzal Akram said Hurst Road residents had “reluctantly accepted” the need for yellow lines on one side of the road due to the need to make space for emergency services.

He added: “I spoke to officers and said residents were not aware, they said they took the opportunity because they road was going to be clear.

“I said I didn’t have a problem with that because they were going to do it anyway, what they do need is to have notice for when they’re going to be enforced. 

“I’ve asked for a 14 to 28 days notice period to start the enforcement of yellow lines.”

Following the original publication of this article, deputy leader Clyde Loakes told the Local Democracy Reporting Service the new yellow lines were “crucial” to allow safe access for larger vehicles, like the fire brigade and bin lorries.

He added: “After careful consideration, it proved impossible to provide parking on the footway without putting pedestrians at risk. The only available option is to remove parking from one side of the road, keeping the other side available.

“The Council considered all comments received in response to the consultation before making the decision in December 2021 to proceed. Residents were notified of this in February.

“To minimise disruption, lines were due to be painted on the same day as drain cleaning was carried out.

“Parking suspension notices were installed on Friday 10th June to notify residents, with some reading Highway Maintenance and others reading Drainage Maintenance as both would be carried out.

“Due to issues with access, the work was postponed and will now be finished as soon as possible to ensure that emergency vehicles and waste collection crews can safely access Chivers Road.”

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