Merton Council spy van blocks emergency exit on double yellow lines

The scene in Holmes Road

The scene in Holmes Road

First published in News
Last updated
Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

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.”

Got a parking madness story for us? Call 020 8722 6333, tweet @WimbledonNews or email us.


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Comments (4)

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10:39am Tue 25 Mar 14

Hove Ex-Pat says...

Pretty obvious that they were waiting for the Muslims to come to the mosque for evening prayer, & then ticket the cars while they were inside. I look forward to the day when central government carries out it's promise to ban these cars.
Pretty obvious that they were waiting for the Muslims to come to the mosque for evening prayer, & then ticket the cars while they were inside. I look forward to the day when central government carries out it's promise to ban these cars. Hove Ex-Pat
  • Score: 1

4:17pm Tue 25 Mar 14

alroutemaster says...

So they're at it still. I was the resident who reported the one at East fields. If he was enforcing the mosque (and I've done that when I was a Police Traffic Warden) he could (and should) have parked legally and walked round issuing tickets.
So they're at it still. I was the resident who reported the one at East fields. If he was enforcing the mosque (and I've done that when I was a Police Traffic Warden) he could (and should) have parked legally and walked round issuing tickets. alroutemaster
  • Score: 1

7:46am Thu 27 Mar 14

Tobermory says...

So the fire gate was blocked was it, despite the fact he is not on the keep clear markings and the road is wide enough for 2 vehicles to pass? It was also locked and the vehicle was obviously attended. I'm sure if a fire engine had turned up during the few minutes the vehicle was parked the vehicle would have moved before the gate had even been unlocked. This is just more anti-parking control hysteria from the Guardian nothing more its a non story. When the mosque is open and during the day both mosque users and drivers from the bus garage also park legally in the same location using disabled badges, its strange the reader didn't send in any photos of them?
It is not an offence to park either on yellow lines or by a fire gate if exempt by law for loading, disabled badge holders, police ambulance fire vehicles or Council vehicles carrying out statutoty duties. Maybe if the Guardian spent more time reporting news rather than making it up it we wouldn't have to read this rubbish eack week. What next Ambulance parks on yellow lines whilst giving CPR, Police vehicle seen speeding after stolen car, Fire engine jumps traffic light on way to car crash??
So the fire gate was blocked was it, despite the fact he is not on the keep clear markings and the road is wide enough for 2 vehicles to pass? It was also locked and the vehicle was obviously attended. I'm sure if a fire engine had turned up during the few minutes the vehicle was parked the vehicle would have moved before the gate had even been unlocked. This is just more anti-parking control hysteria from the Guardian nothing more its a non story. When the mosque is open and during the day both mosque users and drivers from the bus garage also park legally in the same location using disabled badges, its strange the reader didn't send in any photos of them? It is not an offence to park either on yellow lines or by a fire gate if exempt by law for loading, disabled badge holders, police ambulance fire vehicles or Council vehicles carrying out statutoty duties. Maybe if the Guardian spent more time reporting news rather than making it up it we wouldn't have to read this rubbish eack week. What next Ambulance parks on yellow lines whilst giving CPR, Police vehicle seen speeding after stolen car, Fire engine jumps traffic light on way to car crash?? Tobermory
  • Score: -3

8:35am Thu 27 Mar 14

emilysw19 says...

Don't worry by this time next year the cctv vans will be gone! Your Council is spending £1 million on hi-tech unmanned anpr cctv cameras to enforce parking and traffic offences 24 hrs a day. So no more vans on yellow lines Merton, who says the Council doesn't listen to its residents?
Don't worry by this time next year the cctv vans will be gone! Your Council is spending £1 million on hi-tech unmanned anpr cctv cameras to enforce parking and traffic offences 24 hrs a day. So no more vans on yellow lines Merton, who says the Council doesn't listen to its residents? emilysw19
  • Score: 1

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