The Honeytrap

This is a video of an arrest made on 2nd July on the forecourt of the former George Pub on the corner of George Lane and Rushey Green SE13.

I don’t know exactly the details of the offence that motivated the arrest, I’m investigating the details, but the root cause is a parking offence, and one that is quite easily done here.

As you can see from the picture of the site there aren’t in fact visible no parking signs on the forecourt of the former George Pub, the sign that should clearly say “no parking” says instead “warning” and is placed quite high up on the wall, making it very difficult to read in full unless one stands in front of it and looks up, something that is not possibly done from a car.
It is also only one of many signs, the others saying that the building is watched by a security company, others that the building has been acquired by London and Quadrant Housing Association. The building appears in fact to be a complete eyesore so cluttered of signs it is.
And so it is easy to miss the warning and park there, and at that point, once you walk out the clampers arrive in a matter of minutes, the car is clamped and removed and you get a fine exceeding £400.

george-forecourt

To make matter worse the forecourt in question is next door to the Job Centre and in the middle of a Controlled Parking Zone where only residents can park. You get the picture, man loses his job, drives to the job centre and gets a £400 fine.

These fines have in fact provoked scenes of desperation with people trying to prevent the clampers removing their cars by sitting in them while the clampers try to tow them away or even sitting on top of the vehicles, and as you can see from this video this has also lead to public disorder.

That’s why I have now asked the Council to do something about it with a formal question to be answered at next Council meeting:

Parking firms often set up no parking zones that lack clear signage but impose extremely heavy fines for infractions.
One of these sites is currently operating in Lewisham on the forecourt of the former George Pub (now owned by London and Quadrant) on the corner between George Lane and Rushey Green.
The signage is easily missed as it is not a standard no parking design, its large print says “warning” rather than “no parking” and the signs are also set quite high up on the walls of the former pub above other signs giving instead notice that the building is looked after by a security company.
Fines for parking there can exceed £400 and confrontations between motorists and the operators have provoked issues with public order.
It is private land but it is open to the public and at first sight it looks like an open invitation to park your car, one could very easily call it a honeytrap.

Are there ways for the Council to regulate such activities so that unaware members of the public are not damaged by unscrupulous operators.

We cannot allow rogue traders to fleece members of the public to the tune of £400 for a minor mistake that is so easily done.

I don’t know exactly the terms of their operation but it seems to me that it’s a commercial operation and as such should be subjected to licensing regulation, and if it causes public disorder then it is an even stronger case for regulation.

Why the not standard no parking signs, and why are they placed in a way that’s not easy to read?

Warning

And why not just replacing the bollards that once stood there? Once that forecourt was protected by bollards because the pub had tables outdoor, but some of the them were removed by the last management, if the bollards had been reintroduced parking there would have been impossible.

Me and Cllr Dave Edgerton wrote to London and Quadrant but they really can’t see anything wrong with this.
That’s why I have now submitted a question at Council on this very matter.

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2 Responses to “The Honeytrap”

  1. Daily Mail jumps on my bandwagon « . Says:

    […] Mail jumps on my bandwagon By Max Only two days ofter my posting on rogue clamping in Lewisham and my call for the Council to do something about it the Daily Mail starts a campaign against […]

  2. Out and about with James – weekend roundup « . Says:

    […] on L&Q to remove the honeytrap that that stretch of pavement had been transformed into (see my previous post on this […]

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