Anger at council for removing parking ‘restrictions’

NOW YOU SEE THEM ... Pat Newman, with the markings, inset, and, above, at the same spot now theyve been removed.

NOW YOU SEE THEM ... Pat Newman, with the markings, inset, and, above, at the same spot now theyve been removed.

FED-up homeowners in South Tyneside say the council has over-stepped the mark by removing parking restrictions laid down by the mysterious “Line Ranger”.

Under the cover of darkness last month, an unknown sign writer took the law into their own hands by painting three “Permit Holders Only” bays in white paint on the road in Beach Road, South Shields.

The identity of the culprit is unknown – but it is believed to be a local person who has become increasingly frustrated at drivers parking in the street. Householders said they only wanted the amateur-painted markings removed by the local authority if they replaced them with official ones.

Residents say the road markings work.

But a South Tyneside Council worker, armed with a gas-lit poker, arrived to burn the markings off.

The move has angered some residents. One homeowner, Pat Newman, 57, has been a vocal critic of the council’s approach.

She said: “I knew they were coming to take the markings off. I just didn’t know when.

“The council is just not listening to us. There’s no communication over this. These road markings work.”

That’s been proved by the reduction of parking tickets issued – from 500 to just 13 – on streets near South Tyneside District Hospital, after official road markings were put in place.

Mrs Newman said: “The council made no contact with us until the day they burnt off the words.

“They could have saved taxpayers’ money, as the writing was all but worn away anyway.

“A couple more days and there would have been no need to do anything at all.

“At the same time the writing on the road was removed, a letter was dropped through our letterboxes.

“Obviously the council was worried the residents would kick up a fuss about it.

“I know that a lot of residents phoned the council to ask for the writing to be replaced with correctly-sized wording. I know this because they have told me themselves.

“Who is to say that unless official markings are put down the the mysterious ‘Line Ranger’ will not strike again?

“I’ve now been told that the council is willing to meet over this. I am waiting for a date and time.

“I’m just hoping that they will listen to us this time.”

A spokesman for South Tyneside Council, said: “The council has a legal responsibility to keep the highways in a good and functional condition.

“The markings in question were illegal, unenforceable and caused confusion under the existing scheme for residents and visitors.

“We will continue to listen to the concerns of residents affected by the parking issues.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazpaul

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