A MYSTERY ‘Line Ranger’ has called a temporary truce on a crusade to bring “parking justice” to fed-up South Tyneside residents.
Under the cover of darkness late last year, an unknown street artist painted three “Permit Holders Only” signs in white paint on the ground in Beach Road, South Shields.
But weeks later council workers went to the street and burned off the illegal markings.
The ‘Ranger’ – inspired by the fictional Lone Ranger – was responding to homeowners who had become increasingly frustrated at seafront visitors parking illegally outside their homes.
Now he has called on South Tyneside Council to respond to the concerns of residents.
And the Ranger has pledged not to strike again until the spring – to give the local authority time to resolve the issue.
He said: “I’m calling on the council to step up to the mark and meet with residents in Beach Road to get this matter sorted.
“The evidence is there for anyone to see. Motorists just don’t respond to ‘permit holders only’ signs on posts in the street – often they don’t see them. Painted signs on the street really work.
“Just look at Talbot Road and Ashley Road in South Shields.
“After signs were put down on the road surface, there were just 13 parking tickets issued in the first six months of 2013 – compared to 550 for the period before that.
“The council needs to stop using the issuing of tickets as a cash cow and think of their residents.”
The Ranger revealed that his next ‘target’ would be The Nook in South Shields, in particular a five-space ‘permit holders only’ bay in Prince Edward Road – where 373 tickets were issued between August 2012 and November last year.
The mystery sign writer added: “I’ll need to move in when it is quiet enough and when the roads are dry.
“I’m not doing it imminently and I’m hopeful that I will not have to act and that the council will see sense.
“The evidence is blatantly obvious that signs on the road work. I hope the council will accept that over the next couple of months.”
A South Tyneside Council spokesman said: “The council reaffirms that additional signage has already been put in place in Beach Road after discussions with residents last year.
“We are currently in dialogue with residents to set up a private meeting date to talk about potential future proposals.”