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Drivers slam 'misleading' signs which saw them handed tickets in permit parking zone

PUBLISHED: 06:30 18 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:41 18 April 2019

Stanley Avenue in Norwich, where controlled parking has now been introduced. Photo: Lauren Cope

Stanley Avenue in Norwich, where controlled parking has now been introduced. Photo: Lauren Cope

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Drivers who were fined for leaving their cars in a road with permit parking say the signs are misleading and should be changed.

One of the permit parking signs on Stanley Avenue. Photo: Lauren CopeOne of the permit parking signs on Stanley Avenue. Photo: Lauren Cope

Late last year, 24/7 permit parking was introduced in parts of Thorpe Hamlet, including Stanley Avenue.

There are 'permit holders only' signs along the road, but at the Harvey Lane entrance a sign warns motorists they are entering controlled zone C, which is in force from Monday to Saturday from 8am to 6.30pm.

Norwich City Council says Stanley Avenue is the start of the wider zone C, meaning it is legally obliged to display the sign, which relates to single yellow lines in the entire area.

But last Wednesday, when Norwich took on Reading at home, several drivers, who said they thought they could park there after 6.30pm, were left with tickets.

They included Paula Fryer, from Wroxham, who was ticketed at 7pm while visiting her sister. Her appeal against the fine has been rejected.

“I could have parked in my sister's drive,” she said, “but I knew there was parking along there and thought it ended then. I had no reason to take the risk, if I'd have known I would never have parked there. It's frustrating because I always abide by the law.”

David Abbott, from Haddiscoe, was also ticketed, and said he believed up to 12 cars were affected.

And Nigel Death, who lives nearby and was also given a ticket, said the “misleading” sign gave the impression those times were in force on the avenue.

We spoke to several residents along Stanley Avenue, and the majority said they believed the restrictions were in place around the clock, though some towards the Harvey Lane end said they were unsure.

A city council spokesperson said rules around signage - including where they are placed and what they say - is set out by the Department for Transport.

“Drivers will be used to seeing a sign when entering a zone and also understand that when they're inside that zone, there may be additional restrictions that could apply,” they said. “So it's important they take into account the signs and lines that apply to the specific place they are choosing to park each at the time they're doing so.

“The rules do not allow us to add the words 'at any time' to the permit holders sign and drivers will know they apply at all times, unless set hours are stated.”

The introduction of permit parking last year came after consultation with 22 houses along the road - out of 40 - in which 18 said they were in favour of permit parking.

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