Residents form blockade in dispute over decision to put yellow lines in their Chingford road

Outraged residents have come out in force to stop double yellow lines being painted on their road today.

Residents of Chivers Road, Chingford, are in dispute with Waltham Forest Council over a decision, made last December, to prohibit parking on one side of the road.

Last week, highways staff planning to paint yellow lines were forced to give up after residents vowed to block their way, claiming the council had not put up “proper signage”.

Today, anticipating a second attempt, residents created a blockade out of bins and chairs and sprayed water from their hoses to wet the road.

They have also printed a large sign saying “NO YELLOW LINES! Why won’t Waltham Forest Council listen to the residents” and smaller “No yellow lines” signs are stuck on the windows of many properties.

Police attended the scene and listened to residents’ concerns, according to resident Julie Anderson, who added: “They can see that everyone in the street is objecting.”

Some residents have even put out chairs and are sharing tea and biscuits.

The council says wider road space is needed to allow access to emergency services, following an incident last year.

The London Fire Brigade has confirmed that it raised concerns about the road’s width in September last year, when a crew had to walk 100m by foot to reach a property at the bottom of the cul-de-sac.

However, many of the residents are adamant that a compromise could be reached if the council allowed curb parking, which is in place on similarly sized roads parallel to Chivers Road.

In a letter from director of highways and traffic management Vala Valavan, sent in September, residents were told the pavement is “not wide enough” to allow curb parking.

A complaint about the council’s handling of the dispute, made by Chivers Road resident Debora Wright, who collected 52 signatures against the plan, was rejected by the Local Government Ombudsman earlier this month.

Cllr Clyde Loakes, deputy leader of Waltham Forest Council, said: “The decision to install double yellow lines today in Chivers Road, Chingford is solely in response to concerns raised by residents and the London Fire Brigade about emergency service access as well as waste collection challenges.

On Wednesday June 22 we delivered letters to inform residents of works to be carried out on Thursday June 30 as well as installing parking suspension notices in the area.

“While historical decisions have permitted curb parking in some nearby roads, it has been ruled out as an option by the council as it hinders legitimate pavement users such as pedestrians, families with young children and buggies and those with mobility requirements such as using mobility scooters. This is in line with London legislation preventing pavement parking.

“A detailed evaluation concluded double yellow lines as the only workable solution to concerns over emergency services access and waste collection challenges, whilst maintaining pavement space for pedestrians and their associated needs, as outlined previously.”

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Josh Mellor

Local Democracy Reporter