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Ealing and Northfield

Ealing Broadway drop off issue goes large

The problems at Ealing Broadway station have been picked up in all three main local news channels over the last couple of days.

On Ealing Today they have a Q & A type piece with some facts from the council along with a copy of the council’s press release of 5th June which warned about impending CCTV enforcement of pedestrian crossings and bus stops.

Yesterday Ealing Times had the story online here. Their headline is “£225,000: a ‘fine’ profit”. It is typical of a journalist, Alex Hayes in this case, to be economically illiterate. For this to be profit you have to assume that everyone pays their fines without complaint and that it costs nothing to do enforcement and payment collection. I think we can assume a large number of complaints after all the publicity of this issue.

The Ealing & Acton Gazette takes up the story for the third time this week. They are rather more measured than they have been. Their silly GONE PARKING MAD! logo has disappeared and they also have a Q & A piece that includes some actual facts from the council.

As a councillor I am a bit conflicted by all this. I want people to vote for me after all so I don’t really want to beat anyone up. Apparently some 5,573 tickets have been issued although the first 1,000 of them were dummies to give people the chance to change their ways. It can’t be very bright to turn this into a mini-industry however righteous the tickets.

This whole area is a mess and the closure of the drop off area by the rail company has caused inconvenience. This is no excuse though for ignoring the law. The law is totally clear about pedestrian crossings and bus stops and I don’t have much sympathy with people who use them for dropping off passengers.

On the Ealing Today forum and elsewhere people have complained about “anonymous spokesmen”. There is a longstanding convention that local government officer’s names are not mentioned in these situations. This is nothing new.

Other people have complained about camera enforcement. This is the only way to tackle this type of offence as it is dangerous and impractical to ask a parking attendant to try to serve a PCN when drivers are already distracted trying to drop people off and speed away again.

The officers do have a shred of a fig leaf to hide behind. On 12th September last year at the Ealing Area Committee an excellent bus driver called Alvarez complained that it was hard to do his job, especially around the station and Haven Green, because the council was not enforcing what are called moving traffic violations. We are now and people don’t like it. At the meeting Alvarez had the support of all councillors and the public. See my posting and decision sheet.

Visit https://theclarklawoffice.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-lansing-pedestrian-laws/ to protect yourself from personal injuries while you walk on the road.

The resolution made by the committee was:

Resolved: (i) That the concerns of local residents and Members of the Committee regarding illegal parking in the borough, be noted;

(ii) That the Executive Director of Customer Services be requested to investigate the current level of enforcement being undertaken by the Council in response to illegal parking in Haven Green, and report back to the next meeting of the Committee.

It seems that officers have taken this as carte blanche to go off and enforce without coming back to the committee to tell us what they proposed.

I have no sympathy for inconsiderate drivers but the officers are there to serve. It seems they have forgotten that in this case.

I wonder what Mr Alvarez thinks of all this?

24 replies on “Ealing Broadway drop off issue goes large”

A balanced piece this. However, the width and depth of feeling by residents is clear to see. The ‘orchestration’ of activities by elected Members and salaried Officers seems to have gone seriously wrong here and you have been man enough to admit it.

If the law AND residents needs are to be ‘obeyed’ some serious re-architecting of the environs of Ealing Broadway Station (and other local stations) is going to have be undertaken – and soon.

We are getting near to the nub of the problem. The resolution was to “investigate” and the officers rushed off and did the business and did not bring this back to the Ealing Area Committee(EAC). It makes the EAC look like a waste of time for the very few of us (members of the public) who have attended over the years. Which officer was responsible?
Has he/she or them been disciplined? Has the camera been shut down?No no and no. However I understand that all “traffic” decisions have to go through cabinet member Vlod now which should put a stop to this consultative democratic and procedural abuse and he may decide they go to an Ealing Area Committee before being implemented.
I discovered that it isn’t Commander Paul’s Met Police who advised the decision to cone off the forecourt road. She told me. I refer to previous entries.
Two more points. The illegally installed speed cameras in Northfield Ave were never debated at an EAC. Officer Donellan was responsible for this. He and the partnership got the siting of one camera wrong because when it is needed most it is disabled by parked lorries. Residents would have told them but they never asked. Isn’t it always prudent to ask the residents?
Second. We (Kingsdown Res Ass)have tried hard to to remove a parking “trap” just south of the west entrance to St John’s Church Mattock Lane. To resolve this issue to the benefit of pram and wheelchair users and to protect drivers from fines we are asking for double yellow lines to be extended by 1m to include a rather obscure dropped curb. As this raises considerable revenue and keeps the towaway truck busy there is some reluctance to do anything about this. The file is building. At the moment and this is the point we are told by the transport/parking department that THIS will have to go before the EAC to get approval. So we need a shake up. Big decisions that evade debate and tiddlers that have to be subjected to minute scrutiny.
Dear PT I have to thank you again for this forum. These are real issues of democracy and they affect residents and visitors alike. SOMEHOW WE HAVE A DEBATE HERE. Other formal channels which cost the public councillors and the council time and money are less productive. Well done.

I’m sure everybody agrees that you should not park in bus stops – but most people would not consider that stopping for about 14 seconds or whatever has been quoted just to let a passenger out IS parking.

What on earth are the comments on parking by one of Tfls foreign bus drivers has to do with OUR transport hubs drop-off facilities? If he is talking about cars being parked up for hours on end of course they should be moved on or penalised. If he is talking about us native council tax payers legitimately dropping off and collecting relatives and visitors then he is misguided as it is not a pure bus station. The resultant action of installing cameras at the logical drop-off point smacks of an entrenched diverse Labour Party attitude developed over many years within “Parking Services” which results in a bog standard unilateral parking ticket and very little loyalty to local people.
The Conservative council has been elected to MANAGE PROPERLY IN A COMMON SENSE MANNER for our benefit.
Any study you make of the Highway Code is to make sure you are not outwitted by Council Officers, Tfl, GLA, The Police, First Great Western or Alvarez and to act in the interests of US, the electorate in several Ealing wards who regard Ealing Broadway as OUR Transport Interchange Hub.
Lets hope the chairman of the Ealing Committee is now down to earth!

I first came across this problem when I became a recipient of one of these tickets. When dropping people off, I like many others chose the safest place. As far from the crossing as possible and off the busy bus stops. This unfortunately is where the camera is pointed.
Naturally I appealed citing several issues. The main one being that there is no legal drop off point anywhere along the road.
For disabled people situation would be even worse, though I doubt anyone in a wheelchair could even enter Ealing Broadway station.
I agree with previous comments that this area is in urgent need of some kind of redevelopment.
My appeal was rejected with a claim that there is a place to drop people off in haven green, which there isn’t. The letter also claims that the council has no power over the railway approach itself which is a private road belonging to the station. I find this hard to believe. Railway staff are not likely to enfore traffic offences on that road but I’ll wager that any nearby parking attendent will.
I am still awaiting a proper PCN so that I can take it to the obudsman. I certainly will not be paying it.
There is no warning that cameras are being used to enforce this. If the intention is to keep traffic moving rather than raise revenue a clear warning would help. I discovered in retrospect that the council discharged its obligation to inform before making the change by publishing in a local paper. I doubt the circulation of this covers enough local drivers, never mind visitors.
The road traffic act used to state that only uniformed parking attendents could issue tickets. When exactly did this change? I have read elsewhere that this is because of the new terrorism legislation which seems bizarre to say the least. From attempting to read the published laws I could not work it out.
The highway code distinguishes several types of thing.
Parking, Stopping, Loading/Unloading and alighting.
It is illegal to stop on a zig-zag. Stopping definitely includes Parking and Un/Loading. The definition of alighting is less clear.
Stopping for less than 10 seconds has never been punished previously so most of us are unaware of this law.

Common sense says:
1. provide a legitimate means to perform legitimate activities
i.e. alighting
2. provide clear and specifc warnings where camera enforcement is
in use.

Dear Councillor Taylor,

I too have been caught by your cctv cameras at Haven Green picking up my daughter from University.

I was there all of 5 seconds and was sent a PCN. From the correspondence so far Parking Control seems to be buckling under the strain of people contesting these fines.

I will fight this ticket right up to appeal and disagree that these cameras are there for the good of the community. They are there to increase revenue and as a resident and Council tax payer of Ealing Borough I am against what the Council is doing here. I think it disingenuous of you to pretend otherwise. You must think the rate payers of Ealing very gullible.

Are you a Civil Servant Mr Taylor? Who exactly do you serve?

Just to let you know it is us the Council tax payers of Ealing who employ you!
I certainly will not employ you again and the way I can do this is simply not to vote you back into office, you might think it is just one vote but are you unable to add up as well….

Mike,

Do you live in Northfield? If you don’t you can’t vote for me anyway.

I was just trying to shed some light on the situation. Seems like a case of your wanting to shoot the messenger.

Where do I stand?

This morning (17 May) I received a “Parking Charge Notice” from PARK DIRECT LTD for £150.

On Sunday, 13 April at 1:15pm, I waited in the car in a parking bay for a few minutes while my partner renewed my monthly Oyster card at the station. Instead of double-parking on the yellow line, I pulled into one of the many empty parking bays for a few minutes and was in the car the entire time. Being a Sunday afternoon I thought I could move the car if required, but because I was in the driver’s seat throughout and there were practically no other vehicles in the area, I was not in anyone’s way or obstructing anyone.

On the photographs that PARK DIRECT LTD sent along with the £150 parking charge notice it’s apparent that the parking bays on either side of my car were empty.

To my mind, a £150 charge with threats of failure in making payment to PARK DIRECT LTD resulting in a County Court Order and legal fees, is not fair! I’d just stopped for a few minutes while my partner jumped out of the car. I would not have parked there leaving the vehicle unattended because after I had pulled into the parking bay I did notice the signs stating that restrictions were in force.

I feel robbed!! Is there anything I can do to fight the charge without risking additional fees? How can a £150 charge be justified on a Sunday when the parking area was empty and I was in the car all along? If they had proof that I’d left the vehicle unattended, the charge might have seemed more justified… The person who took the photographs could have just advised that I should not have stopped there… Or asked me to move… But I definitely was not in anyone’s way. I went onto PARK DIRECT LTD’s website and it looks like a Mickey Mouse company to me…

Don’t pay – just Ignore the bullying letters

It’s about time that Ealing trading standards clamped down on this activity which is obviously also sanctioned by First Great Western whose staff often share a cigarette with the little girl who sits in her battered van in one of the bays and leaps out to take the photo when a car pulls in usually to drop someone off.

I took my appeal as far as PATAS. There response was essentially the law says do not park on zig-zags. You disobeyed the law – pay up. Which is all very well but is following the letter of the law not its spirit. More to the point they also said the lack of a legitimate alighting place is a council matter. However, if you take the matter up with the council (which I did before even getting to PATAS) they tell you parking is a matter to be taken up with the station as it is private land. Please tell me how anyone can request that the staff running the station change road markings which are the responsibility of the council?
I would not mind so much if I thought there was a remote chance that these fines went into correcting the legitimate problem. It seems that the problem is not officially recognised. It may be cynical but how can we expect anyone in charge to recognise a constant revenue stream running into millions as a problem?

Hi

I to have had a problem with these ..on sunday i stopped got out of my car and went to starbuck to get drinks for some friends by the time i got back to the car they had clapped it

sorry clamped it

the man said 150 + vat to remove the clamp i however deflated my tyre and removed the clamp myself (no damage to clamp)
i will not have to pay the clamp removal fee now !!

I too received a ticket yesterday for dropping my parents plus heavy luggage off at Ealing Broadway station and half stopping in the bay. I spent last night taking a photo of the illegible sign in the space and writing a letter of complaint. It would have taken me twice as long to read and make any sense of the sign than it took for me to help my mum out of the car! So just ignore it??

I too have received one of these tickets and so has my daughter. We were also sitting in the drivers seats of our cars with the engines still running while dropping items off to a local business.

The whole set up seems bizarre to us – is it legal to have somebody lying in wait to take a photo of somebody sat waiting in their car with the engine still running? Has anybody experience of ignoring these ‘fines’? Please advise the outcome?

i too have been one of the many victims recently of Park Direct’s Ltd scheme and i thought i was the only one. I was there for like a minute or less when a lady told me,a passerby said i shouldn’t park there so i got out of the parking space and now i’ve been laid off with a £150 fine.I was indeed in the car with a friend and find it ridiculous that they are charging me such a fine especially when i was present.Never even left the car.From the PCN the pictures look like the windows of my car are blurred as if they’ve been photoshopped making it out like there was no one in the car.I think i can remember what i did that day.

I feel that Watchdog or the press need to get involved.Why is there private parking in such a public place and why is Park Direct getting away with this?I am not submitting to paying the fine till i know what my rights are.

Who would want to get involved in giving a story towards Watchdog!If anyone has read Daily Mail dated Tuesday September 15th 2009 page 8-9 it states what sort of scheme this company operates.

I have gone to Ealing council,and they told me to go to PATAS but seeing from recent responses it seems my case doesn’t seem like it will win.Please let me know if anyone will be willing to take further action and beat these cowboys!

Charito,

These tickets are not penalty charge notices, they have nothing to do with the council and I am surprised anyone at the council advised you to go to PATAS as these tickets can’t be dealt with by PATAS.

This is essentially a fraud and you can safely ignore the letter you got from Park Direct. It is a try on.

Council officers have been trying to deal with this situation but it is not an easy one to solve.

Hi Phil.
thanks for the reassurance.i have done my in depth research for this company and came to the conclusion that they are drifters and con artists!!so i will not take the matter further..

I contacted my solicitor about this issue and the most interesting thing she had to say was that Park Direct seem to be on the brink of bankruptcy. Shame! Apparently all businesses have a rating of 0-100 (100 being the best score and 0 meaning they are bankrupt). Park Direct has a score of 2 so, based on that and the advice on various forums, I am not responding to them.

I have just received in the post today a parking charge notice (service date 21.10.09) for stopping in the parking bay at Ealing broadway station at 8.45 am august bank holiday Monday. I pulled into the station to pick up my daughter and her friend as they had quite a bit of luggage having been at the Reading festival. I cannot believe that a station has no facilities for being able to pick up passengers with their luggage -why not just close the driveway up completely if it is illegal to do this fairly normal activity at a station. I was in my car the whole time and there are definitely no parking meters to pay for any permits etc. This is very uncivilized behaviour for Ealing Council to allow this to happen. I understand this is a private company sending out these charges – how did the council allow this to happen? Needless to say, I will not be paying this ridiculous charge.

Went to pick my girlfriend up from Ealing broadway on Xmas eve.
Another car followed me into the drop off area so I pulled into a
parking space. I kept the engine running whilst she loaded her
things into the boot.

As far as I’m concerned, the driver has to switch off the engine and get out of the car for it to be considered parking.
I was there for less than a minute and received a ticket.

If the council or rail authority want to keep these parking bays free,
they should issue proper parking tickets and not employ cowboys to do it for them.

I won’t be paying the fine and I’ll be going back there to warn other drivers of this scam and advise them not to pay them either.

I dropped a relative off at the station on 9th April (just over two months ago), waiting there for all of one minute. I don’t recall seeing any signs to say that waiting was not permitted.
I have just received a notice from Park Direct demanding £75.00 – Date of Issue 12th June 2012.
I see that earlier comments have suggested not paying, but is it actually worth trying to make any sort of stand, or do you simply end up paying £150 instead?

David,

The signs are bloody obvious. That said there will be no repercussions if you just ignore the notice if it is from Park Direct. They cannot enforce it. Never ignore one from a council or it will get expensive and is enforceable.

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