So who do you think sprayed this abrupt message on the Tarmac outside my house? Practical jokers, perhaps, who thought is might be amusing to clear the road of cars and watch as everyone fought for parking on the surrounding streets?

Or maybe an errant utility company that couldn’t be bothered to properly inform us that they wanted to dig the road up?

Nope. It was Lambeth Council that carried out this cackhanded and lazy piece of disinformation. Not that the council knew about it when I rang them up.

At least the parking department didn’t, and neither did the control room that directs parking attendants and deals with those insidious trucks that remove parked cars. “We’re not planning on removing any cars from your road tomorrow,” said the nice man.

It wasn’t until I rang the council for the third time, this time pressing two to access the part of the call centre that deals with road repairs that I found out what was going on. The council is installing speed humps tomorrow and they painted the message on the road.

You can’t actually see this message if you were to turn left onto my road instead of right, for instance. It doesn’t say why, or who’s responsible, or how exactly where it applies. It’s dishonest and probably doesn’t meet any of the council’s own requirements for signing parking suspensions.

Why didn’t they leaflet the houses and stick notes under windscreen wipers instead?

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