Crackdown to drive out cycle lane parking in Waltham Forest

Motorists who park in cycle lanes in one of London’s “Mini Holland” boroughs could have their residents’ parking permits revoked, council chiefs warned today.

A crackdown on illegal parking has been launched by Waltham Forest council amid growing anger at the way some drivers are blocking the new routes. 

They are being introduced under a £30 million initiative to encourage walking and cycling by building Dutch-style segregated routes, including a three-mile track in Lea Bridge Road.

Campaigners have photographed numerous vehicles parked on pavements or in bike lanes — despite the risk of a parking ticket. The problem is worse in the evening. 

The council has ordered extra patrols by wardens (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The Labour council has ordered extra patrols by wardens and is investigating whether repeat offenders who also hold a CPZ permit for a home in the borough can have it rescinded. Clyde Loakes, the council’s deputy leader, said: “I’m getting increasingly frustrated, as a lot of our residents are, at the amount of  pavement parking abuse and now,  increasingly, parking on cycle tracks across the borough.

“I’m hoping it’s just a flash in the pan thing as works continue before completion [of the cycle lanes]. I have asked officers to explore what measures could ‘crack the nut’ before it becomes too prolific. This includes looking at, if they have a residents’ parking permit, whether we could revoke it.

I don’t think PCNs [parking tickets] often work in themselves. Some of these people seem to be persistently parking on pavements. We are not investing all this money putting in new infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists to see it abused by people who think they are entitled to park anywhere.”

Mr Loakes said wardens, who normally clock off at 10pm, will extend their patrols until 1am. The next shift will start at 5am rather than 8am.

He encouraged pedestrians and cyclists to take pictures of offending vehicles, without putting themselves in danger, and send them to the council.

Cycle campaigner Paul Gasson, who helped the council to win Transport for London funding for the initiative, said: “I really want to commend the council for the work they are doing on Mini Holland. It’s groundbreaking stuff. The quality of infrastructure and the commitment is truly awesome, but we do need to follow up with enforcement.

“This is a culture change and some people will need a bit of a helping push to help them understand. We still do have a rump of a car culture here where people feel entitled to drive anywhere and park on footways. I really applaud the council for being prepared to take enforcement action.

“I’m hoping it’s just a flash in the pan thing as works continue before completion [of the cycle lanes]. I have asked officers to explore what measures could ‘crack the nut’ before it becomes too prolific. This includes looking at, if they have a residents’ parking permit, whether we could revoke it.

I don’t think PCNs [parking tickets] often work in themselves. Some of these people seem to be persistently parking on pavements. We are not investing all this money putting in new infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists to see it abused by people who think they are entitled to park anywhere.”

Mr Loakes said wardens, who normally clock off at 10pm, will extend their patrols until 1am. The next shift will start at 5am rather than 8am.

He encouraged pedestrians and cyclists to take pictures of offending vehicles, without putting themselves in danger, and send them to the council.

Cycle campaigner Paul Gasson, who helped the council to win Transport for London funding for the initiative, said: “I really want to commend the council for the work they are doing on Mini Holland. It’s groundbreaking stuff. The quality of infrastructure and the commitment is truly awesome, but we do need to follow up with enforcement.

“This is a culture change and some people will need a bit of a helping push to help them understand. We still do have a rump of a car culture here where people feel entitled to drive anywhere and park on footways. I really applaud the council for being prepared to take enforcement action.

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