Archway drivers furious over lack of signs saying free parking is axed

DRIVERS have been stung with �40 fines after no signs were put up to say that free Saturday parking in Archway had been scrapped.

One driver felt tricked after suddenly being issued with a ticket – in the same spot she had parked her car every week for months.

Helen Brindley was making her weekly trip to Archway Market, in Holloway Road, last Saturday, and left her car in nearby St John’s Grove as usual – only to return 15 minutes later and find a warden had slapped on a �40 fine.

Chris Callaghan, her partner, said: “A warden was sticking a ticket on every car window. He said they had got rid of the free parking.

“My partner felt she had been duped. You would expect them to at least stick a little notice up. She would have spent less if she had just paid the last six months. It just seems like entrapment.”

Archway has had two hours free parking on Saturday mornings for the last nine months.

The couple, of nearby Cheverton Road, asked Islington Council what had been done to inform drivers of the change and were shocked by the matter-of-fact reply. A council officer simply wrote: “The pilot of the Saturday free parking scheme in Archway expired in January 2011. There was no formal publication that the pilot had ceased. The pay-and-display machine display was amended from free parking to allow payment within the bays.”

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Hak Huseyin, who runs Absolute Print, in Junction Road, and is chairman of the Archway Town Centre Management Group, said: “It would have been good for the first couple of Saturdays to have some notices up. The council has not been very courteous.”

The Archway business group is also angry that free parking has already been shelved – even though the “roamer” parking system, which will allow those with resident permits to park anywhere in the borough from 11am to 3pm, does not kick in until February 28. Mr Huseyin added that roamer parking will not help their many customers from outside the borough.

Councillor Paul Smith, Islington Council’s executive member for environment, said: “I have been assured the signage advising of the parking restrictions has been on display since January, so drivers have had advance warning that fines would be issued if they parked illegally. However, if there has been a failure on the council’s part, we will review any ticket on the evidence provided. When our staff make an error we will make sure it’s put right.”