Anger over 1,490 parking tickets issued in one year at ‘infamous’ Barnet loading bay

Andrew Dismore and Gary Shaw at the infamous loading bay in Market Place. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Andrew Dismore and Gary Shaw at the infamous loading bay in Market Place. Picture: Nigel Sutton. - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Drivers using an infamous loading bay in Hampstead Garden Suburb have been hit by almost 1,500 parking tickets in just one year.

Andrew Dismore, Labour’s London Assembly member for Barnet and Camden, is calling on Transport for London (TfL) to make the loading bay in Market Place clearer to drivers by painting “LOADING BAY” within it.

Mr Dismore insists the existing sign to warn drivers against parking in the loading bay is “not clear” and the space is regularly mistaken for one of the many legitimate parking spaces along the road.

He said: “It is mad that it is not marked and one small loading bay, on a small parade of shops such as this, can generate such vast amounts of money.”

Between January 1 and December 31 last year, TfL issued 1,490 penalty charge notices (PCNs) to drivers parking illegally in the bay.

The eye-opening figures were obtained by Mr Dismore from the Mayor of London’s office.

The bay only allows commercial vehicles to park and load or unload for up to 20 minutes from Monday to Saturday between 7am and 7pm.

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Mr Dismore said unwitting motorists are caught parking in the restricted area by a CCTV camera “hidden in the foliage of a tree” nearby.

He said that anything between £89,400 and £178,000 has been raised from PCNs issued in the bay by TfL.

“Since May, I have asked nine questions [of the Mayor] on this loading bay,” he said. “To date, only limited changes have been made. TfL now claim that they have asked the Department for Transport (DfT) for permission to perform a simple task such as painting “LOADING BAY” on the road.

“This has taken 10 months to get to this point. Anyone would think that the Mayor is reluctant to get on and fix this profitable error.”

Gary Shaw, of Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents’ Association, said he hoped the DfT would act soon to resolve an issue he has been campaigning about since 2005.

“Hardly a week goes by when at least one call doesn’t come in from someone ‘done’ by the bay and the case is identical every time,” said Mr Shaw.

“People think it is a legitimate parking space and are astonished when they receive a ticket. They ring up and start to tell me the story and I say, ‘Stop! I’ve heard the story hundreds of times before!’”

A spokesman for the Mayor of London said: “TfL is asking the government for permission to paint a ‘loading’ road marking on that bay as it would be illegal to do so without their permission.

“To try to make the situation clearer they have now added an extra ‘loading only’ sign so there are now two signs at the bay to tell drivers it should only be used for that purpose. We hope that will help resolve the situation.”