Pay and Dismay for Churchfield Road

But correct signs will be in place shortly

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Having spent many hours of his time mobilising a campaign against Ealing Council's Parking Services and their enforcement officers, vans and cctv cameras, Sonny Masson who runs Paint thought that a good solution had been found to parking problems along Churchfield Road where his business is situated.

We last reported on the situation over six months ago when residents and businesses were furious that the livelihoods of local people running businesses were being put into jeopardy by Ealing Council's draconian and disproportionate parking enforcement.

Today, Ealing Council's Highways Department arrived and planted a sign (see picture) which said something it wasn't supposed to.

Immediately, Sonny and Nish Taank who runs Pearls Drycleaners across the road, got in touch with one of their local councillors, Seema Kumar.

Sonny told us: "This morning I was not at all happy. I have had dozens of people coming into the shop all day long to ask me what on earth is going on. It has been exhausting. Seema has just reassured me that the signs will be changed either tonight or tomorrow morning.

"We discussed this with our councillors and after much lobbying and debate, some of it at Acton Central Ward Forum meetings, it was decided that the fairest system would be to instal machines which issued a ticket allowing free parking for half an hour. Anyone wanting to stay longer would have to pay and the machine apparently records registration numbers to make it impossible for people to return to the same spot before two or three hours has elapsed.

"We were delighted with this solution, because it is good for our customers - most of whom don't park for longer than half an hour - and means that no one can hog parking spaces on Churchfield Road.

"This morning was a shock. But at least within a day we have been told that steps will be taken to rectify the mistake. However, after all the hoo-ha over the CCTV cameras and the Parking Enforcement van, it is amazing that the Highways people messed it up.

"If nothing had been done, I was just going to string a banner across the front of my shop saying "parking fines and money will be refunded". I hope I haven't lost too many customers today."

It is not known how long it will be before the new machine is working.


October 15, 2009