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Failure to clampdown on illegal parking in Stoke Newington causes anger

PUBLISHED: 15:00 30 October 2014

Vishal Vora who lives on a street with a gated entrance which people keep parking in front of, even though there is a double yellow line. The mayor has said he must put in a request every single time this happens instead of the council just increasing the enforcement of parking regulations on the street (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Vishal Vora who lives on a street with a gated entrance which people keep parking in front of, even though there is a double yellow line. The mayor has said he must put in a request every single time this happens instead of the council just increasing the enforcement of parking regulations on the street (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Archant

An exasperated parking campaigner has invoiced the Mayor of Hackney after spending hours complaining to the council about vehicles blocking access to his street.

Stoke Newington resident Vishal Vora has said he is even considering taking Mayor Jules Pipe to the small claims court after enduring the five-year torment of drivers parking on double yellow lines and obstructing the gateway to Gibson Gardens, where he lives.

Mr Vora’s invoice demands £300 for “use of time, phone, electricity and the inconvenience of being unable to use my car due to a lack of parking enforcement”. As well as being often unable to exit the street, he said he feared such obstructions could prevent emergency service vehicles reaching vulnerable residents.

He submitted a Freedom of Information request in February, which revealed a steady decline in parking tickets issued at the site – from 56 in 2010-11 to 20 in 2011-12, 19 the following year and just three in 2013-14.

The 33-year-old, who has previously campaigned successfully to have a box junction repainted and has reported other traffic violations, has written to Mr Pipe many times over the years about wardens turning a blind eye to offending drivers and calling for CCTV cameras to be installed.

But he was told earlier this year he needed to make requests for parking to be enforced on the road as it did not fall within a controlled parking zone (CPZ) and therefore was not on the regular beat of traffic wardens – and he says he has spent hours on the phone trying to arrange for enforcement officers to visit the scene.

He said: “I feel like I’m being treated like an idiot by Hackney Council. The fact this is only going to be enforced on a request basis is completely absurd. Any time I see a parking violation, I have been asked to phone the busy pound.

“Several times I have tried to go somewhere by car but I can’t because of cars blocking us in. When my wife was heavily pregnant, just before the birth of our daughter, I was worried that we would be trapped in the street.

“We all pay tax and this is a basic amenity. I think we are going to have to wait for a child to be run down or someone to pass away because the emergency services couldn’t get in.”

After being contacted by the Gazette this week, Hackney Council said it was adding the road to its list ofhotspots and would carry out more regular checks.

A council spokesman said: “If double-yellow parking occurs on a regular basis in areas that are not controlled parking zones, Hackney Council will treat this as a hotspot and undertake more formal and regular visits.

“Gibson Gardens will be added to our hotspot list.”


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