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End of the road for last street left for commuters’ free parking on the Isle of Dogs

PUBLISHED: 11:00 21 January 2019 | UPDATED: 13:00 21 January 2019

Sleepy turning... Thermopylae Gate is last turning on Isle of Dogs where you could park free all day. Picture: Google

Sleepy turning... Thermopylae Gate is last turning on Isle of Dogs where you could park free all day. Picture: Google

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The last public highway in London’s East End to escape parking meters is now having restrictions imposed by Tower Hamlets Council to stop commuters using it.

Cllr Peter Golds... Cllr Peter Golds... "Problem with street so narrow and commuters parking on pavement all day." Picture: Mike Brooke

Families in Thermopylae Gate near the Mudchute DLR station on the Isle of Dogs are being sent letters from the town hall warning that restrictions come into force next month.

The families had voted opt out of restrictions in 1994 when the council made one of its rare decisions to allow a local referendum on setting up parking zones.

But complaints have grown over the years since 1994 about owners leaving cars on the pavements along this narrow turning off Spindrift Avenue for free all-day parking while taking the DLR to work.

“Problems began when some residents couldn’t open their front gates because of cars on the pavement,” Cllr Peter Golds told the East London Advertiser.

New parking restrictions to stop pavement parking in Thermopylae Gate. Picture: GoogleNew parking restrictions to stop pavement parking in Thermopylae Gate. Picture: Google

“Pavement parking was a problem with the street being so narrow, with so many commuters coming to park free.”

The turning is the only public highway left without parking restrictions on the Isle of Dogs or anywhere in Tower Hamlets.

Cllr Golds, who represents Island Gardens ward which includes Thermopylae Gate on the Chapel House Estate and Mudchute DLR, acknowledged: “Some residents don’t want the restrictions, but the pavement parking has been difficult for others.”

Council highway engineers are now carrying out surveys to decide where to place yellow lives and to mark out parking bays. But the turning is so narrow that Cllr Golds believes there might not be enough room for parking bays.

Consultations began in February, 2017, and the new parking zone was agreed by the council last July, which is now being formalised with the letters this week to the families living there, many of whom have their own off-street driveways top park their own cars.

The restrictions begin on February 18 with warning notices to drivers about the new parking zone, with full enforcement set from March 4.

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