Islington Council blunder leaves drivers being illegitimately ticketed for nearly two weeks

A blunder by parking officials resulted in drivers being wrongly issued with penalty charges for nearly two weeks.

Islington Council wrongly changed the signage on a residents’ bay in Liverpool Road, Islington, to business use when it was meant to be converted to shared use for both types of user.

To confuse matters further, officials had incorrectly advertised the change before Christmas, putting up signs informing locals that the bay outside numbers 201 to 207 would be changed into residents use, even though it already was.

Liverpool Road resident Andrew Thornton saw the notification in December and thought nothing of it – until he was hit with five parking tickets after leaving his car parked outside his home between Sunday, March 11 and Friday, March 16, oblivious to the new sign.

He immediately contacted the council to alert them to the problem and the penalty charges were suspended, pending investigation.

But he said parking wardens continued to illegitimately ticket others parking in the bay for a further week, until the Gazette took up the matter.

The 57-year-old said: “The cynic in me thinks they have done this to make money. I’ve been furious, not just on my own behalf but for all the other drivers, as I’ve been looking out of my window seeing other people getting tickets. It’s scandalous, a confidence trick.

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“They have been making so much money out this. They normally come round once a day, but since this little money making device has come into place they’ve been round four times a day – and I’m not even sure whether they are actually getting out of their cars and putting the tickets on the cars. I only found two tickets on my car but when I rang the council they told me five penalty charges had been issued.”

An Islington Council spokesman said: “We’re cancelling all these tickets. These bays in Liverpool Road are being converted from residential to shared-use, for resident or business parking. However, because of a mistake with the legal order they were wrongly signed as business bays.”

He added: “We won’t be enforcing in these bays until the right signs are in place and we apologise for the confusion and inconvenience.”