Traders and residents in West Ealing who have received multiple Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) during Crossrail work believe the PCNs are illegal and are demanding the council waive the fines.
They say that Ealing Council didn't provide any advance notice of the road changes before they closed The Avenue at the junction with Argyle Road, putting up a barrier at Gordon Road. The closures have caused delays and congestion in the area.
Initially it's claimed that signs that were erected stated the road was closed and entry was for 'access only'. However, that access sign was later removed and businesses and residents then received what's been described as a 'avalanche of PCNs'.
Pauline Kelly, a local resident says the situation is ridiculous with small businesses in the area being particularly hard hit and she fears many could cease trading if forced to pay-up.
''Blake's Florist are currently holding 11 PCNs £715 (if paid in 14 days) or £1,430. The mini cab office has 150 - £9,750 or £19,500. Every single business on The Avenue has received pcns. Some are unable to receive deliveries due to the traffic chaos. The residents are also affected with numerous people, myself included, having received more than one PCN.''
She has contacted her Councillor Anthony Young as well as the Parliamentary Candidate, Rupa Huq, requesting they urge the council to declare the PCNs as invalid.
Cllr Young told EalingToday.co.uk, ''I have spoken to a number of traders in The Avenue, who are facing a bleak Christmas because of the traffic restrictions. I have also been in contact with Ealing Council Parking Services on their behalf. I am sorry to say that Parking Services have not been sympathetic.
"The arrangements in The Avenue, which do not permit access to the shopping parade from the North, force drivers to travel through the roadworks, incurring long delays. There is little reason why access should be restricted and many drivers are ignoring the no entry signs.
"Unfortunately, the Council has placed a mobile CCTV camera at the junction to entrap drivers. The traders are concerned that Ealing Council is using this as a money-making exercise, at the traders' expense.''
Council officers told Ms Huq that they have added additional road signs and will investigate why the 'except access' sign was removed.
The road closures are temporary to allow the delivery and erection of the steel framework for the West Ealing station building.
In the latest email response to Cllr Young's enquiries, Ealing Council now dispute that there was ever an ' access only' sign and say the road signs have been 'abundantly clear'.
The Officer writes: '' We cannot condone any vehicle going against the no enry signs as this would mean drivers would need to drive on the opposite sign of the carriageway against the flow of traffic. This is not only illegal; it causes a major safety issue and is likely to result in a collision.
''As the consideration of PCNs is a statutory process, each case will be dealt with on its own merits and an officer will respond in line with legislation governing PCNs to any representation made.''
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