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Error in Burnt Oak parking changes leads to 65 people being ticketed in Watling Avenue
HUNDREDS of pounds of parking fines handed to drivers in a Burnt Oak shopping street will be refunded after Barnet Council admitted they should not have been issued.
Traders and residents in Watling Avenue were sent letters in January detailing new plans to shake-up parking in the area, including the removal of rush-hour waiting restrictions in some bays.
The Times Series previously reported anger from businesses about these restrictions, which stopped people parking in the bays between 8am-9pm and 5.30pm-6.30pm.
However, since the changes were supposed to come into effect on February 15, 65 vehicles have been ticketed there because wardens were not told about them and signs were not removed.
Shopkeeper Pravin Shah, who runs the Bijal Food Centre, said he has had at least one customer caught out since then.
He said: “A regular customer came in and said she had parked on a double yellow line so I told her to move it and park over the road as it was after 5.30pm.
“We saw the flash of a camera as the traffic warden took a picture of the car parked there. When I rang the council to complain they said the changes weren't effective because they hadn't changed the signs.
“I felt bad as I had told her to park there. Why can they not use their discretion and not charge people if these changes are supposed to have been made. If they weren't going to follow through they should have warned us.”
Of the 65 tickets issued 23 have been paid, earning Barnet Council more than £1,000.
Councillor Daniel Thomas promised full refunds would be made to these customers and all other tickets would be cancelled.
He added: “This is simply an occasion when we have to hold up our hands and say this is our error. Two people who should have been talking to each other weren’t and I’ll be finding out why.
“Staff have been told not to issue tickets any more and we will sort out those road markings as a matter of urgency.
“In the meantime we will cancel all of the tickets we have issued, and, if anyone has paid one, make sure they are not out of pocket.
“I can only apologise to those residents who have been given tickets.”
Have you been ticketed since the rules were meant to change? Leave your comments below.