Chingford residents lose double yellow lines battle

Police had to threaten to forcefully move Chingford residents off the road yesterday as they tried to block new double yellow lines.

Waltham Forest Council was finally able to install the new parking restriction down one side of Chivers Road, agreed last December.

It has stated that the restriction is necessary to allow bin lorries and emergency services easy access down the cul-de-sac, following a complaint from the London Fire Brigade in September 2020.

However, the majority of residents have vocally opposed the move for months, arguing there are alternative solutions, and successfully blocked council workers trying to paint the new lines last week.

For yesterday’s attempt, the council pre-emptively called in the police, whose officers threatened to drag residents out of the path of the hot tar paint for their own safety.

Resident Steve Scott stood in in front of the road-marking van as it tried to enter Chivers Road but moved when issued a warning by officers.

He said residents were determined to get the restriction overturned, adding: “People are gonna get really badly impacted by this, it’s a massive imposition on everyone for no good reason.”

Another resident, who asked not to be named, said she feels the council has a “problem with cars”, a position she has “some sympathy with”.

However, she added: “There’s no infrastructure that would let me not use my car and still get anywhere on time.

“There are really on three or four buses an hour [to Highams Park station] – they’re not reliable.”

The car-reliant residents complained about the inconvenience and safety impacts of having to park further away on New Road, a busy residential through-road and bus route between Chingford Mount and Larkshall Road.

Waltham Forest’s deputy leader Clyde Loakes, meanwhile, has insisted yellow lines must be painted due to “concerns raised” by the London Fire Brigade and “waste collection challenges”.

He also rejected residents’ call for curb parking instead, arguing the pavement is not wide enough and that it would not leave space for parents with buggies, wheelchair users or mobility scooters.

He said: “A detailed evaluation concluded double yellow lines was the only workable solution.”

When contacted for comment, the London Fire Brigade said there was an “incident” in September 2020 when a fire crew had to walk 100m to reach a house at the bottom of the cul-de-sac.

Steve disputed this, commenting: “That was because there was bad parking at the end of the road. A hire company owner had parked his vans on either side, it wasn’t anything to do with us.

“We even suggested yellow lines at the end of the road – but they wouldn’t listen.”

Josh Mellor

Local Democracy Reporter