An enraged resident captured this Merton Council worker parked on double yellow lines and apparently blocking an emergency access gate.

The unimpressed passer-by noticed the van, used to capture people flouting parking regulations, on Holmes Road, South Wimbledon, next to a number of empty parking bays.

Council workers, including traffic wardens, are permitted to ignore normal parking restrictions while carrying out statutory duties.

A similar incident happened this time last year next to Mitcham Eastfields station and Merton Council thanked a resident for getting in touch and dressed down the warden for blocking an emergency access point.

But in the latest incident the council supports the staff member.

The resident in the latest incident spotted the vehicle on Monday, March 17, behind the Dar Ul Aman mosque.

Merton Council cabinet member for environmental cleanliness and parking, Councillor Judy Saunders said: “Our officers do a difficult job in very challenging circumstances, where they often receive abuse from members of the public.

"We take a fair approach to implementing parking regulations in order to keep the borough clear of congestion and our officers have every right to go about their job without fear of intimidation."

The resident said: "The vehicle could have been parked in any one of a number of empty parking bays in Holmes Road, but instead the parking attendant chose to hide his vehicle in the shadows behind the mosque.

"The attendant saw me taking photographs and quite aggressively challenged me.

"I explained to him the error of his ways to which he barked 'you don't know the law, you don't know Section 9 of the Traffic Act and you can't do anything about it.’"

The man added he had no objection to parking control but found the behaviour of the worker unacceptable.

Coun Saunders said: "We always hold up our hand if we make a mistake but in this case our officer was parked in a place where vehicles displaying a blue badge or other similar exemptions are allowed to park.

"He was not parked over the Keep Clear road markings, nor was he obstructing the emergency access. 

"He made the right decision to park in the only place where he was able to park without causing obstruction.”

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