Ilford driver slapped with School Streets fine after vandal turns sign the wrong way
- Credit: Ken Mears
An Ilford bus driver says he received a ticket for mistakenly turning into a restricted school street because the sign was missing.
While driving his wife's car, Farooque Azad, 61, received a £130 fine in December for turning onto Gordon Road from Green Lane, Ilford, during the peak time when vehicle traffic is restricted because that road is part of the School Streets scheme.
When he received the PCN the council's parking enforcement team included a Google Maps image of the wobbly sign posted in Green Lane showing that turns weren't allowed during peak times.
But Farooque says the sign wasn't actually there when he was driving because someone had turned it around to face in the opposite direction.
Farooque returned to the scene of the crime a week after he received the PCN and took video footage showing the sign was still missing and tried to appeal to the council but it fell on deaf ears.
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He told the Recorder: "I think it's ridiculous that they are using an old image showing a sign there to prosecute me when it wasn't there and I have clearly showed that to them.
"I wonder how many others are also being penalised for this."
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A spokesperson said Redbridge Council acknowledged the sign had been turned 180 degrees in the wrong direction and it was becoming increasingly common for traffic signage to be maliciously tampered with.
After the Recorder contacted the council the signs were turned round to face the right way.
The spokesperson added: "In any case, the motorist would also have been met with prominently displayed traffic signage on turning right into Gordon Road, advising that traffic restrictions are in place between specific periods. Gordon Road is one of our successful School Streets pilot sites."
Farooque said there aren't enough advance signs warning drivers they can't turn onto the restricted streets.
There are signs at the entrance to Gordon Road but Farooque said if you are turning onto the road by the time you see them it's too late to act safely.
The council added: "Motorists are entitled to escalate their appeal to the Independent Adjudicator if they wish to contest the penalty charge notice further.”