An­gryChared­imhold atowtruck­hostage

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY LEON SY­MONS

TWOTINY­park­ing­bayshaves­parked a ma­jor row be­tween the Charedi com­mu­nity and Trans­port for Lon­don.

The row threat­ened to boil over last week when dozens of an­gry mo­torists sur­rounded a tow-truck that was about to re­move a car — and held it for two hours be­fore al­low­ing it to go.

The park­ing bays are at the junc­tion of Stam­ford Hill and Clap­ton Com­mon, in North East Lon­don, out­side a row of shops. One is a reg­u­lar park­ing bay while the other is for load­ing and un­load­ing.

A sign for the load­ing bay tells driv­ers they have 20 min­utes to load or un­load. But it does not tell them about what a TfL spokesper­son called the “three­minute rule”. This means that, if a tow truck sees a car in the bay and no-one near it for just three min­utes, they will re­move it.

Lo­cal peo­ple have also ac­cused TfL of de­lib­er­ately tar­get­ing the area and is­su­ing tick­ets ran­domly, even s t i c k i ng them on t r a nsport c o m p a n y Darkei Noam’s v e h i c l e s parked in a priv a t e l y - o w n e d road off Clap­ton Com­mon.

Man­ager Ephraim Gold­stein, said: “We have had more than 120 tick­ets in the past few months. You can­not imag­ine the has­sle the war­dens give us. We have writ­ten to TfL dozens of times, telling them it’s a private road and that we have the owner’s per­mis­sion to park there, but they take no no­tice. They still give out tick­ets and tow away cars.

“Peo­ple come here to do their shop­ping, par­tic­u­larly be­fore Shab­bat, and can emerge from a shop to find they have no car. Some­thing has to be done be­cause we feel we are be­ing sin­gled out for this treat­ment.”

Mr Gold­stein has sought the ad­vice of Bar­rie Se­gal, who runs a web­site to help peo­ple fight park­ing tick­ets.

Shuki Moses, man­ager of Sharon Bak­ery, said: “I got a ticket a cou­ple of months ago. I for­got to take it off, so the war­den thought I’d been there all day and called a tow truck.

“I jumped into the car and re­fused to get out. We ar­gued for half an hour be­fore they let the car down.” Andrew Gross, who man­ages an op­ti­cian’s in the same pa­rade, said: “I don’t know why there is a sign for load­ing be­cause none of t he shops load or u n l o a d . We all have a rear en­trance. Lots of moth­ers and chil­dren come here so they should make it all or­di­nary park­ing. The signs them­selves are mis­lead­ing. The load­ing sign says 20 min­utes is al­lowed but if you leave your car alone for three min­utes, they will tow it away. “

P r o p e r t y con­sul­tant David Hager said: “Al­most ev­ery day a car is towed away. I got clamped last year when I was in a private drive.”

Moshe Fried­lan­der, a com­mu­nal rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the Hack­ney po­lice In­de­pen­dent Ad­vi­sory Group who helped defuse the stand-off with the tow truck, said: “I un­der­stand there have been a se­ries of prob­lems in­volv­ing the com­mu­nity, TfL and one of its con­trac­tors. I have brought it to the at­ten­tion of the deputy com­man­der of Hack­ney po­lice.”

A TfL spokes­woman said: “Load­ing bays are strictly for load­ing pur­poses and not for park­ing, how­ever brief.

“In the few cases where a driver is is­sued with a Penalty Charge No­tice and gen­uine load­ing and un­load­ing was tak­ing place, a de­liv­ery form or other should be pro­vided and TfL will can­cel PCNs is­sued.”

Re­gard­ing Tat­ton Cres­cent, she said: “We are in the process of can­celling a num­ber is­sued in er­ror.”

Ticket col­lec­tor: Ephraim Gold­stein

Con­fus­ing: the load­ing bay sign

PHO­TOS: BEN TURNER

Shuki Moses with the sign many think re­lates to the park­ing bay

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