The Van Diaries

I’ve had enough. It’s gonna stop and I am going to be the cop that stops it. Now a lot of my advisors are saying “Let the story die, don’t keep talking about it.” Look, I don’t care what uninformed people think about me… I’m coming to your house.

Bill O’Reilly

Van hire companies and van drivers in the area are treating Brockley’s streets and communities with contempt. Van hire companies are using roads that are supposed to be our commercial thoroughfares and residential streets as a parking lot for their growing fleet of vehicles. Van drivers generally park on pavements, yellow lines and in the middle of the road without fear of getting a ticket. And because no-one is doing anything about these problems, they are getting worse.

Initially, it was just Brockley Cross and the roads leading in to it that were used as a dumping ground by van hire companies. Increasingly, it is Coulgate Street, where the vans take up parking near the station and shops and ruining the look of the closest thing Brockley has to a town centre – a place that the community has worked hard to improve by planting a community garden where Council contractors had left a barren slope strewn with rubbish and fag ends.

Something can be done. Often, the vehicles are illegally and dangerously parked – proper parking enforcement in the area would address the worst abuses. The D&M Office was established without planning permission and if the Council was minded to challenge the company, they could do so and force them to relocate somewhere where they can use a parking lot, like reputable companies do.

We’ve contacted Lewisham Council to ask them if they will take action but we were told recently that following a visit to the area by Council inspectors, they did not see a large number of vans and therefore don’t believe that there is a problem.

Given that there are approximately a dozen large removal vans parked in and around Brockley Cross on a daily basis, it’s astounding that the Council can’t see them – god knows where they looked. However, they’ve said that if we want to keep a diary of the problem, they will consider it as evidence and consider whether action should be taken by them.

So, we propose to use this thread as an open diary, to which everyone can contribute. If vans are parked on your road, please post the details, with time, date, road name and company. We’ll be doing the same. A couple of weeks’ worth of entries should be enough to show the Council that there is a real issue they need to address. You can also tag photos on Twitter with the hashtag #bxvans

The photo above was taken on a weekday morning last week and includes an illegally parked van on Brockley Road, as well as a wall of vans on Coulgate Street. BCer Nick took a very similar shot of Coulgate Street this morning, showing how persistent the problem is.

Thanks in advance for your help with this. We'll send the details to the Council at this time in a fortnight.

UPDATE: Here's another example of a van, dangerously parked in Brockley Cross. Warnings about icy roads were no deterrent. Note, the problem isn't just van the hire companies, but a whole range of companies that know they can park illegally with impunity. The van was parked on the pavement and at the entrance to "one of Lewisham's busiest intersections" (TM Lewisham Council) for several hours during a week day.

UPDATE: Here's another choice specimen from a couple of weeks back. A van parked (don't let the fact that the lights were on fool you - it was parked, empty, for at least half an hour) with its arse hanging out in to the road in the middle of the night.

UPDATE: Here's a real beauty taken at 6.30pm today. A D&M van sticking out from Coulgate Street into Brockley Road. There were three illegally parked vans on Brockley Cross and Coulgate Street this evening, when we got home - all from D&M. We'll add the other two to our collection.


UPDATE: This is the last photo we're going to post on this thread, because we are depressing ourselves. It's almost as if the van hire companies have redoubled their efforts in response to this piece. Seven vans on Coulgate Street this morning (Feb 2nd) and two more in Brockley Cross. Film crews use fewer vehicles than this and they have to apply for special permits. This also shows that the van hanging dangerously in to Brockley Road was there all night. Photo courtesy of Nick.

157 comments:

Tamsin said...

The second photo nicely captured Terry's All Locks very smart van properly going about its business.

Anonymous said...

I agree. The vans park so close to the junction at the end of Coulsden road it is a significant hazard for both vehicles and pedestrians. It has got to stop.

Anonymous said...

If this vans were advertising mung deliveries or similar there wouldn't be half as many of these threads.

Anonymous said...

And soon enough before you know it there will be yellow lines on our roads and we'll be paying to park our cars there. Then you'll be complaining about that. Leave our roads alone. Why don't you invite the owners of these companies to a little town meeting where people can discuss as adults the issues. You might find the owners are willing to come to some sort of arrangement rather than just telling them they have to move to somewhere with a car park.

Brockley Nick said...

Anon 1220 - there are yellow lines already. They park on them at any time of day without fear of penalty.

There's no acceptable way to park a dozen large vans on residential streets.

If you want to argue the toss about the issue, please use the other threads devoted to this subject.

This thread is to be used to record the scale of the problem.

Non Car Owner said...

If they have tax discs they can park where they like. If they park on single or double yellows, they should be ticketed like any other vechicle. Simples. Also I didn't know that people now need planning permission to rent an office and start a business.

I don't own a car and so use D&M quite regularly. I have always found them friendly and very reasonable. Also they aren't precious about their vans. I wish people would extend them the same courtesy.

This is becoming a van-detta. Bourgeois aesthetic sensibility v's a couple of hard working guys trying to make an honest living by serving real community needs. Sorry but I know what side I'm on.

sick & tired said...

Bourgeois aesthetic sensibility v's a couple of hard working guys trying to make an honest living by serving real community needs. Sorry but I know what side I'm on.

Yawn, go chain yourself to a van in solidarity then

Anonymous said...

Bravo, non-car owner. From time to time this places needs someone to cut through the bullshit.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Coulgate+Street,+Lewisham,+United+Kingdom&aq=0&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=56.243791,135.263672&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Coulgate+St,+Lewisham,+Greater+London+SE4+2,+United+Kingdom&ll=51.464783,-0.036778&spn=0.010948,0.033023&z=16&layer=c&cbll=51.46471,-0.036864&panoid=Psr9o1nPiMIzzV1wIQdESQ&cbp=12,19.55,,0,12.89

What yellow lines were they parked on here then? Oh they were legally parked? Oh?

Brockley Nick said...

As I say, please use the other threads on this topic to debate the pros and cons of the matter, where many of the points you raise are addressed.

Very briefly:

"If they park on single or double yellows, they should be ticketed like any other vechicle."

Yes, but they aren't. Part of the reason for this thread is to persuade the Council to take parking enforcement seriously.

"If they have tax discs they can park where they like."

They can't park on pavements or sticking out in to busy roads, but they do. Again, this thread is to persuade the Council to take parking enforcement in the area seriously.

"Also I didn't know that people now need planning permission to rent an office and start a business."

They do if they want to start a van hire company. They didn't apply for a change of use like the were supposed to.

" I have always found them friendly and very reasonable."

What they are like to their customers is not the issue here. They are not reasonable towards the community they're located in.

"This is becoming a van-detta. Bourgeois aesthetic sensibility v's a couple of hard working guys trying to make an honest living by serving real community needs."

Not wanting streets to be so clogged with vans that they can't be used for other purposes and they become dangerous to cross is not bourgeois. And planning laws exist, in part, to protect aesthetics, which are important.

This is not just about D&M although they are the worst offenders.

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon 1235 - I was not referring to Coulgate Street. I will update the site with photos of vans parked on yellow lines.

Anonymous said...

That would be reasonable as the current layout implies they already are.

Anonymous said...

wha??? yes van hire companies are useful and needed in london. Using the public roads, including residential and smaller side roads is thoughtless. The bussinesses on Coulgate street have put their money on the line to start a bussiness too, what do they think about a wall of white vans outside their shops?

If you open a bussiness you should be obliged to locate it somewhere appropriate. That's why opening an abatoir in a second floor office would be unacceptable.

Get a place with your own parking facilities. It's not the occasional van that spills over or is waiting to be picked up, aesthetics matter.

Ed said...

The vehicles are regularly parked illegally, either too far from the curb, on the kerb or dangerously (most surprising was the vehicle parked at a right angle poking into the main road opposite the bakery). Can we just have CPZ as part of the Coulgate Street development and some bloody enforcement? I don't want to live in an industrial car park and these companies should be forced to act responsibly, including obtaining the proper permissions to operate their business. We have two great local businesses that are regularly obscured from view by these vehicles; I will start putting my camera in my bag and take some photos; do they need time/date on them?

Brockley Nick said...

Thanks Ed - a date and time stamp would certainly be helpful.

Anonymous said...

Surely the council would like the revenue it's CCTV car could generate should it drive round there.

Brockley Nick said...

You'd think so Anon, but unfortunately, the Council doesn't pay the private enforcement company on commission, so there is little incentive for them to take the issue seriously...

Mung Sauce said...

The juxtaposition of photos of legally parked D&M vehicles with illegally parked other ones and an article largely about D&M (indeed, referencing them in the first paragraph along with the words 'in particular') is, in my opinion, ill-advised.

Brockley Nick said...

From the text, right next to the photo:

"Note, the problem isn't just van the hire companies, but a whole range of companies that know they can park illegally with impunity."

Mung Sauce said...

Yeah, it just doesn't come across until the last (additional) paragraph. Providing clarity at that point in the story is the sort of thing the Daily Mail does.

Brockley Nick said...

The article combines a number of points:

1. The sheer number of vans being parked in the area has become a problem - this is mainly due to D&M

2. The illegal parking of vans in the area is a problem - this is due to all sorts of companies

3. Both these problems can and should be addressed by the Council, which has asked for evidence of a problem.

There are a number of photos elsewhere on this site of D&M vans parked illegally.

However, I have now removed the "in particular" reference at the beginning of the article, as I have no interest in picking on one company - I just want the issue resolved.

Mb said...

No, the The Daily Mail blames Romanians and 'the gay agenda'...not to mention gay romanians.

Using the local roads as a parking lot for your van hire bussiness is clearly wrong isn't it? as it would be for skip hire company or a removal van company. If it was a couple of vans it wouldn't be an issue...it aint. Also ACE are not completly squeeky clean.

Brockley Nick said...

@Mung Sauce and Anon 1235 - by the way, the top picture - the one originally posted - includes a D&M van illegally parked on a yellow line outside Pavillion on Brockley Road (just next to the blind bend and next to the junction with Cranfield Road).

westsider said...

"What yellow lines were they parked on here then? Oh they were legally parked? Oh?"

It would be nice to get a retraction from the guy who posted this.

The vans are obviously a problem and the Council should act within its powers.

Reg said...

Nick's right. These people have absolutely no respect.

Ed said...

Also let's not split hairs or mung out for the sake of it; this would improve local life so let's get something done!

When is our CPZ consultation?

Anonymous said...

Maybe it would look better if the were multi coloured vans.

Anonymous said...

So only vans break parking restrictions around Brockley Cross?

If you must grass, why not snoop on everyone, rather than pick on one small businessman?

Ed said...

OMG; keep up!

Mb said...

No, it's not just vans - no one said it was, no one is 'picking' on anyone. How many other businesses in the area park their fleet of vans on the street, thereby impacting other legitimate businesses and residents. Once again, it’s not a complex argument. Had they proposed that they were going to run a van hire business from that location and use the local street as a parking lot how many would say “yes, great idea”?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I think someone at the Council is looking the other way. The van problem is daily, but I bet that someone tips off the companies when the inspector comes aournd. So where is the police to inforce it?

Three days ago two police officers passed by a van parked on double yellow and made a joke about it. Nice one!!

thisisengland said...

Only Ocado vans are allowed in Brockley. There should be gates and guards to keep out the vanning riff-raff.

Ed said...

Traffic warden refused to deal with the BMW outside the barbers as 'it's private property' despite the fact there is no lowered curb for access and egress.

The other Brockley nick said...

The thing that really, really annoys me is that van hire companies that exploit the community 'owned' asset of free parking, and dont pay for their own premisis actually have an economic advantage over the companies that behave decently to the communities they operate from.

This means the selfish companies make more margin and can buy more vans - hence D&Ms expansion over the past six months.

Legally, provided the don't park on double yellows etc, they might be ok, but morally it just ain't right.

Beyond the fairness issue, having a massive van parked outside your house is just so, so, so annoying. I hate these people!

angelofthewest said...

Apparently, Lewisham Council is recruiting for a number of positions. This link ought to work. No chauffeur positions, but interestingly, they are seeking an Employment Lawyer or two.

Ben Pearce said...

I'm sick of all the vans there - I can never park outside my place either because of them, nor can any deliveries etc. They're taking the p!ss frankly. Those who arent bothered about vans outside their places should do a deal on the parking with them (esp once the CPZ arrives..)

thisisengland said...

What really peeves me are the council rubbish trucks parked illegally in Ladywell while the crews eat in the greasy spoon. They're ignored by the traffic wardens while the rest of us are harassed.

Anonymous said...

We want CPZ!! We want CPZ!!! We want CPZ!!!! WE WANT CPZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brockley Nick said...

Diary - Feb 1st, 6.25pm.
Two illegally and dangerously parked vans tonight on Coulgate Street. One illegally parked at Brockley Cross. All three belonged to D&M.

Ymmit said...

Disappointed at the lack of 'men with ven' Peep Show quote-age, knowing your form is this area...

Brockley Nick said...

Good point.

Tim said...

Nick,

I think this is a great initiative, and I hope you get loads of good photos. Surely a CPZ with very low charges for residents, that is properly policed, is not hard for Lewisham Council to effect. They might even make some money out of the illegally parked vans and non residents who the streets as a station car park.
Those of us who are bothered should all be bombarding the council and our councillors with letters and emails as well.
I this email address would be a good place to start:
parking@lewisham.gov.uk

Tim

Ed said...

CPZ!

Van parked over give way onto main road about 7.30.

Fairtrade Espresso said...

At 6.25 pm anything parked on a single yellow is safe.

CPZ is a Pandora's box Brockley does not want to open.

Anonymous said...

Yep,once its open it can never be shut.

Anonymous said...

we like open pandora boxes!! By the way Van prked on double yellow in Harefield Mews at 8:30

Anonymous said...

Has anyone mentioned the car which regularly parks on the pavement at the bottom of Cranfield Rd yet? Think it belongs to the person running the sad excuse for a junk shop. The whole thing is a disgrace, really dragging the area down.

AnonOne said...

@Nick

Was your complaint to the council about the number of white vans, which are often illegally and dangerously parked, or was it about the number of illegally and dangerously parked vehicles, which are often white vans?

From your post it sounds like the former. I wonder if we 'd have more joy with the Council with the latter and should expand the scope of these diaries.

Anonymous said...

The van thing is a particular case. It's not a number of different people parking inconsiderately occasionally, it's a single business parking it's fleet of vans on the street often inconsiderately and sometimes dangerously. It should have its own off street parking.

General parking problems is an issue all over London, don't conflate the two arguments. D&M first, Mubarak next!

Anonymous said...

Wait until you see coulgate street this morning at least 5 delivery vans

AnonOne said...

@anon this morning

It's not just about one company's behaviour. Not even all of the pictured vans are from the same place.

The argument is fundamentally about parking, so there's no conflation. But my point was more about tactics with Lewisham.

Anonymous said...

The argument itself is about parking but the problem has been highlighted by the arrival of a couple of van companies who are, quite frankly, taking the piss.

The Art Of War said...

I disagree, a more effective tactic would be to focus on the PARTICULAR issue of van hire companies using the street as their depot.

Parking enforcement is related but chasing a variety of individuals is harder than one ore two companies IN brockley. Also even if the vans are parked legally the fact that they have set up a bussiness without proper facilities is extra leverage.

I could be General George Patten with my grip of tactical matters.

TC said...

I've just cycled past Coulgate St on my way to work, and you should see the amount of hire vans there this morning. It's like they've read this thread and are trying to needle us.

Headhunter said...

Certainly yesterday and the day before there were at least 2 D&M vans on the Geoffrey Rd end of Manor Ave. Don't remember noticing this morning, however there are usually at least a couple of them around my end of Manor...

Ed said...

I counted three last night and six or seven this morning. Forgot camera, will try again tomorrow.

Brockley Nick said...

Diary - Feb 2nd, 8.40am.
A total of seven vans parked on Coulgate Street today, lining both sides. Three were D&M branded. The others, unmarked. Got a photo.

tracy said...

7 in Coulgate Street and 2 on Brockley X at about 10 30. They are taking the p*ss now I think as the council did nothing. Of course they are competitive in pricing as they are not paying a market rate for premises suitable for this business. ASBO!

Andy Endwell said...

How sadly predictable to see the middle classes wittering about hard pressed folk trying to earn a crust.

Ds said...

Cpz yes please. But not sure it will solve the van problem as can't they just buy permits for all their ven?

Hippo said...

Not as predictable as the salt of the earth wittering...

Tressilliana said...

Gosh yes, Andy, definitely a middle class issue, because only middle class people have any concerns about safety when it comes to crossing the road or about compliance with parking and planning regulations.

How would you feel about hard pressed folk trying to earn a crust by cutting corners and breaking the law in any other way, e.g. fly tipping on Hilly Fields? It's the same principle, isn't it?

Brockley Nick said...

@Andy look at the bloody pictures and give it a rest.

Anonymous said...

How sadly predictable Andy Endwell is.

thisisengland said...

Isn't it a bit ironic that BC has a couple of google ads for van hire on the home page?

Brockley Nick said...

Van hire companies are great when they have their own parking lot.

Tamsin said...

"CPZ" and "low charge for residents" are probably mutually exclusive. My understanding from a few years ago was that the council will only contemplate a CPZ if it more than breaks even.

Indeed a Pandora's box - and will not necessarily deal with the problem and if what is anecdotally said of Kensington and Chelsea is true - more permits are issued (and paid for) than there are places to park. Enforcement of existing measures is surely the answer.

Ed said...

Ds - They won't get enough, if any, permits.

Tres - don't waste your time.

Tam - I used to happily pay in Lambeth and I think most schemes are oversubscribed (I'd rather 'compete' with my neighbours than everyone). Enforcement of current restrictions is hard as most of the markings have gone on Coulgate street and I'm not sure that would solve the van issue in any event.

When discussing CPZ perhaps we should mention how far from Coulgate Street we live/work... [c50 yards]

Anonymous said...

Here Here Andy!! I suppose lots of people think that just because they own a place they own the street outside it.
Wrong! Drop this idee fix, and the equally ridiculous one that by bourgeois will alone, Brockley Cross can become Blackheath Village.
Who's next for this persecution? Speedicars?

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon - I'm not aware that anyone who's commented so far lives immediately next to the epicentre of the problem, in Coulgate Street or on Brockley Cross. You appear to have misunderstood the issue.

Anonymous said...

Yeah man! 'Bourgeois persecution' of the vans! Let's all live in a shithole to prove er... something.

How's sixth form going by the way?

Anonymous said...

Pay the parking enforcement people by results.

Hey presto!

Problem solved.

(But remember they'll get more of us too.)

Anonymous said...

"Let's all live in a shithole to prove er... something"

Vans or no, you sort of do, so get over yourself.

Anonymous said...

'"Let's all live in a shithole to prove er... something"

Vans or no, you sort of do, so get over yourself.'

Which is exactly why people are making an effort to improve things.
Try thinking before posting.

Anonymous said...

Why not ask D&M and whoever else to park on Endwell Rd outside Andy's house.

Anonymous said...

Also, other working class hero's may wish to join in and donate spaces along their streets.

Thought not.

Mb said...

A thought experiment, if I was to earn a crust selling manure from a street stall outside a small chipshop would it be better to allow the chip shop to suffer for the s**t seller or tell the s**t seller to sell his wares from a more appropriate, considerate location?

Anonymous said...

@Tim said... Surely a CPZ with very low charges for residents,

Sorry no such thing exists. CPZ is about making money not making ur life easier. Ask anyone who lives with one. I think the current rate in clapham is £300 a pop.

Anonymous said...

£75 in wandsworth

max said...

A low cost CPZ would be a very good idea indeed.
When it was introduced it was about £30 per year and it was all that was needed to cover its cost. Then a couple of years ago it doubled because at Council they thought that it was acceptable to charge more for CPZ to help pay for road maintenance and I remember that the report to the Mayor specified how much other boroughs make out of it.
As one that supports CPZ for its benefits to residential roads I'd love to see it expanded as much as possible, even as far as making all residential roads CPZ areas, but at the same time its cost to the residents should be brought down to the minimun needed to cover its cost.

thisisengland said...

I collected 2 free bags of horse manure yesterday. And there was some fresh free steaming manure in Tyrwhitt from the police horses.

So the chippy'll be OK, there's no market for priced manure. Unless you wanted it delivered by Ocado.

Anonymous said...

Mb
Very crass comparison. You would ofcourse be closed down in a day because of street trading laws.

But what are D&M doing that is illegal. (Parking infringements aside, which they should of course stop doing)

And this is the point, the van hire businesses are doing very little that isn't legal. OK they are infringing parking restrictions in a minor way and this should be dealt with. As for parking being a free good. Well I don't own a car. But if I did I could theoretically park it all day and all night in the locations complained about. I therefore hand over this right to the good people at D&M. And I'm sure I could find ten people in my position for every one of their vans.

To you it seems people legally trying to earn a crust are akin to literal purveyors of sh*t, I don't share your views. D&M provide a great service. What's more they pass on the their savings to the customer, and they have thousands of them, right here in this community. Few of these members of the community, needless to say,are of that unrepresentative demographic, the Volvo estate owning, oh so vocal, middle classes.

I'm glad Brockley Cross isn't a CPZ full of pokey little cafes selling mediocre coffee at inflated prices, and equally twee deli's.

call me dave said...

(Parking infringements aside, which they should of course stop doing)

Hang on, that IS the problem.

The class rubbish is in your head, sunshine.

Anonymous said...

"I'm glad Brockley Cross isn't a CPZ full of pokey little cafes selling mediocre coffee at inflated prices, and equally twee deli's."

I think Brockley Nick, Patrick1971 and Headhunter just had what would amount to a waking wet dream.

Ross said...

i've got a volvo estate

Anonymous said...

Kill him!!

Tamsin said...

@ Ed - but once you start "competing" with your neighbours things turn nasty. If you pay for something you expect to get it. At a public meeting about whether or not to accept a CPZ in Telegraph Hill someone who had moved into the area from where there was a CPZ was lyrical about how much she preferred the friendly flexibility of no restictions.

For residential roads there is also the issue of the mass of street furniture required and white line painting - something of an issue in a conservation area - and outside of a CA (and its article 4 directive) the temptation is then there to convert to hard-standing.

I do, though, appreciate that if you live close to a station where commuters would otherwise park the situation is very different. Embleton and Leathwell Roads clearly had no option but to have a CPZ once the DLR opened.

Surely if the lines are faded on Coulgate Street they can be re-painted and a very local restriction can be brought in - parking on one side only and either a resident (how many people live in Coulgate Street) or limited to 20 minutes or - possibly - one hour so that the shops and cafes still get car-bourne trade.

Ross said...

Coulgate has the capacity for about 10/15 people. i think, currently, 11 live on the street?

Anonymous said...

Would be good if you could see Wardens on a regular basis in the first place.

Mb said...

Sigh.... No it's not crass. Nothing wrong with a van hire company. It's not a private individual, its a business using the street as it's premisis to the detriment of the people living and trading there. Why is this so hard to grasp?

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon 1620 -

What your argument boils down to is that you like cheap van hire and you're happy that they undercut law-abiding competitors at the expense of the community (black and white, rich and poor), whose roads are more dangerous, more clogged, less useful and more ugly as a result of their actions.

Well tough. There are rules in place to prevent companies doing that. I am asking the Council to enforce those rules and they've said they will if we can present evidence of a problem.

There is clear evidence of a problem as the photos already posted (and the dozens more collected by local residents since this article was posted) show.

Ed said...

@Tamsin - I doubt we will ever agree on anything but you assertion that 'once you start "competing" with your neighbours things turn nasty... you pay for something you expect to get it' is nonsense.

We compete with everyone who has a vehicle and wishes to park currently; I am just suggesting we reduce the size of the 'competing' population. My use of quotation marks was an attempt to import a degree of irony.

Provided that you understand that you are paying for a conditional right to park provided there is a space rather than for some universal parking right then this is just not an issue.

On a lighter note has anyone thought to start a formal van spotting club? HV03 PJU - Oooh, I haven't seen that one for weeks... NO? Just me then!

Oh and lastly - I have decided to sell my car but still support CPZ!

Tamsin said...

I've never experienced living in a CPZ and was merely passing on what this other girl said. There was also a report in the London News of arguments about parking once a CPZ had been introduced escalating into tyre-slashing hostility. But that was out Wimbledon way (I think) or maybe even north of the river and "there be dragons".

CPZs are necessary in many places - but should not be seen as the solution to all problems. And once the council has the money rolling it the decision would be virtually impossible to reverse.

Anonymous said...

Lucky I saw this thread, surprised my van has not yet graced these pages!
I support this idea although given the address of most of the van owners, a cpz is going to make this worse.

I look forward to the day that my Saturday walk from the PO depot to the builders yard, past Wetherspoons and Speedicars, will be unspoilt by colourless vehicles. Taking in the garage and car lot on the way home completes my amble around Brockley village.

"shops and cafes still get car-bourne trade"
haha

solutionsnotmoaning said...

@Ed Oh and lastly - I have decided to sell my car but still support CPZ!

Well get out of the argument then if it doesnt affect u. Dont worry about it. Be happy.

Reg said...

I walked down there yesterday and can confirm that the situation is getting hugely out of hand.
What a welcome to Brockley - vans everywhere.

Hans said...

Velcome to Vockley.

Brockley Nick said...

Diary - Feb 3rd, 8.20am

A relatively modest 5 vans on Coulgate Street, with 2 more in Brockley Cross.

Anonymous said...

I never noticed the vans until this article started. They clearly know about it. We could complain to the relevant people but bitching on a blog wont really help but annoy people. In the last few days the vans are everywhere

Brockley Nick said...

If you didn't notice the vans until now, it wasn't because they weren't there before.

As the article states, the purpose of this thread (and the activity on Twitter) is to collate evidence to submit to the Council, as they have requested.

This will show that - despite their previous investigations - there is indeed a significant number of vans parked in and around Brockley Cross. Like you, the Council claim not to have seen them and they won't take action until it is proved to them that they exist.

Anonymous said...

When i say didnt notice i should have said hardly noticed. I commentated on one on Monday about how cheap they were compared to everyones favourite red van that £10 an hour, minimum 2 hours + booking fee etc..but then carried on walking past it. It was just one more van surrounded by loads of cars. This morning there was loads there. Im not saying its right im saying they are reading this and probably think its funny to park out there. I just think its going to get worse than better if we argue about it over the internet.

Brockley Nick said...

But it's been getting steadily worse. When the problem first started over a year ago, it was just 2 or 3 vans and Brockley Central limited itself to the occasional grumble.

But over the months, the number of vans parked here has steadily got worse and parking enforcement against illegally parked vehicles has got little better, despite the Council saying that they would give it greater priority.

So, I doubt that the increase in vans in the area is the result of a co-ordinated act of defiance by van companies reading this blog.

The problem has got steadily worse and it is time to take a stand against it.

This evidence will be submitted to the Council and they will be asked to take action.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps if we stopped hiring their vans they'd go away?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clarifying Nick. i do understand what you (we) are all trying to do. Hopefully the evidence will be enough for the council and the van guys wont mess around by parking ALL of their vans on the street just to annoy people!

Danja said...

If they do they are shooting themselves in the foot. The more of an impact they can be shown to be making on the locality, the more difficult it will be for the council to continue not to enforce against their unlawful change of use of the office they use without the requisite planning permission. The council justified that to Nick on the grounds it would have little or no impact on the local area. The more that is shown not to be the case, the more difficult it is for the council to justify inaction. So, in a sense, let's hope they are that stupid as it will help to bring it to a head.

Anonymous said...

Very good point. It seems as though they are being very petty...or they've just bought a fleet of new vehicles

Vincent said...

Whoops I thought this thread was about the dutch painter ........Theo Van Diaries

Ed said...

3 large and 3 small on Coulgate Street this morning. Forgot camera, again!

Tressilliana said...

Yes, as I whizzed past in the 484 I spotted 6 or 7 in Coulgate St and one at Brockley Cross.

Brockley Nick said...

Diary - 11.40am Feb 4th, 6 vans in Coulgate Street, 4 in Brockley Cross. Half of them were D&M, the rest unmarked.

Anonymous said...

I actually stopped in the street and laughed out loud when I saw the 7 D&M vans parked nose to tail on Coulgate St this morning. Then cursed myself for not having my camera. It's going to be living in my bag from now on...

cpz said...

4th of Feb. 11.25 pm Unmarked van parked overnight on double yellow line at the north east corner of coulgate and brockley rd. 3 move vans on coulgate

Simon said...

I saw the owner of many of the vans outside Brockley station resiting them at 730 yesterday evening (Friday). Two ended up in Manor Avenue (but have now gone).

Why do you think he was moving them?

I do think he's taking the piss trading in such a way.

Tressilliana said...

I was very struck last night whizzing back home in the 484 that the Ace vans are neatly parked in the MOT garage forecourt and the D&M vans were all over Coulgate St. There was a van parked right on the corner of Brockley Road and Coulgate St on what was either a single or a double yellow line. Couldn't swear to it being a D&M van but I think it was.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone spoken to D&M about the clumping in Coulgate Street? The owner is a quite reasonable chap.

CPZ!! said...

5 vans on Cranfield Road, next to Brockley Road today. The van expansion.

Ed [supports CPZ] said...

Finally remembered my camera but there was only one D&M this morning just before 10... Lots on Saturday.

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, it was interesting - there were none in Brockley Cross this morning at 8.15am either. Have they been moved to other streets in the area?

Mb said...

Just for balance (!) there was an ACE van on Coulgate at 7:20ish. I think an occasional van, especially from a company that has actually made an effort to secure their own parking, can be forgiven though.

solutionsnotmoaning said...

@nick i think you have to be wary of this becoming a witch hunt.
why is there no answer to the question as to wether anyone has spoken to the owner? Surely that is the first move in a dispute.

"Yes, it was interesting - there were none in Brockley Cross this morning at 8.15am either. Have they been moved to other streets in the area?"

Well that is positive as it is what you want isnt it? why are u now looking for problems in other streets?

Anonymous said...

No, I think Nick is saying they ought to arrange their own parking as any reputable rental company ought to do.

If they had applied to run a rental firm out of an office in BX and park their vans in the street they would have been told to think again.

thisisengland said...

This thread is anal.

Anonymous said...

@thisisengland, simply asking a local business to trade in such a manner so as not to adversly affect their neighbours?

Get some appropriate parking, thats all.

Brockley Nick said...

@Solutionsnotmoaning - it's not about one company.

As for why I'm interested in whether the vans have simply been moved to neighbouring streets, it's because I want to know whether the problem has been addressed or (more likely) displaced to other streets.

thisisengland said...

You're counting vans for heavens sake.

Anonymous said...

Surely moving to other streets is the only, and therefore best, solution you're going to get here?

They don't have a big carpark, and they won't be able to magic one out of the air, so the only options are to park them in other streets, or to shut up shop (which obviously wont happen).

Brockley Nick said...

@thisisengland - I refer you to the thread about Lewisham Council, where you complained that people were calling you a spotter for pestering the Council about wheelie bins. It seems you have not been chastened by that experience.

Yes, we are counting vans, because we regard the number of vans in the area as an issue and the Council have asked for evidence.

westsider said...

@Anon ACE vans found a solution.

Ed said...

@TIE I rather doubt that you recognise the value of empirical data here.

Are your comments, which correctly state that we are counting vans, desgined to alter our behaviour and why do you care what we do and say?

Your contributions seem little more than idle and feckless criticism, although I hope to be enlightened in due course...

thisisengland said...

@Ed, down the library perhaps?

@Broc Nick, I did not 'pester the council' I sent them an email. My comment about the difficulty of communicating with LC via email had nothing to do with counting/spotting bins which drew snide remarks from the mob, that was incidental, and everything to do with LC's lack of communication.

Mb said...

well quantifying a problem reguires numbers/locations/times so yes 'counting' is kind of implicit in the methodology. To be clear, are you saying there is no issue here?

thisisengland said...

If everyone counts the same vans, where's the 'empirical data' in that?

Nominate a designated 'van counter' with a camera equipped with a time and date facility, and then you'll begin to get some of those 'facts' Broc Nick is so fond of, and there'll be less triumphant "I saw 5 vans in Coulgate St!!!"

If you really want to do something about the vans organise a demonstration at the site, get some publicity, contact the Evening Standard get Sally Bercow down there.

Ed said...

@TIE You don't know what empirical means or have made some kind of mistake.

Anonymous said...

You sound like Jeremy clarksons less funny brother.

Ed said...

@ Anon 16:48 - Why, are you still reading out loud?

I'm not here for this banal 'banter' so I'll try and restrain myself to van photos and reports in future.

thisisengland said...

Thomas Kuhn might disagree.

Anonymous said...

That was aimed at tie.... He stoopid

thisisengland said...

anon, I'm with Ed.

Anonymous said...

The empirical data Woud suggest you're not

Brockley Nick said...

@TIE

You said of bin collection dates:

"Oh well silly me expecting a promised, advertised, trumpeted and paid for service. I wasn't whining was I? My comment was simply that the council's email system doesn't work."

I say of vans:

"Oh well silly me expecting a promised, advertised, trumpeted and paid for enforcement of planning and parking controls. I wasn't whining was I? My comment is simply that the council's policies don't work."

So shhhh...

thisisengland said...

You're all determined to carry on with the silly "I saw a van" comments instead of doing anything about it. I was trying to inject some common sense. Personally I don't worry too much about the vans. But for those of you that do, then a carefully collated set of photos sent to the council (not by email), and even better a demonstration might get something moving. No one accused you of whining, you're very selective about your memories.

Anonymous said...

How about an open area on the internet where everyone can post their photos and/or comments? That way everyone can see them and it may avoid duplication......oh.

westsider said...

TIE, I don't believe you're that thick. People are doing something about it, that's the point of this thread. Read the article.

As for "publicity".. hmmm, I wonder where the issue could be publicised...

thisisengland said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brockley Nick said...

@TIE gosh, you really know all about this publicity stuff, you should work in PR.

Please do as others have suggested and read the article. This is not just hot air. Over two weeks, I am using this thread and Twitter to collect photos (loads have been sent to me) which will be submitted to the Council as evidence. This is the process that they have recommended and I am doing as they ask. This has proven to be a very efficient way of gathering data and highlighting the problem, but thanks again for your advice.

As for your suggestions about direct actions, I'm sorry but I'm going to have to delete your comments. It's a route that others have suggested but is completely unacceptable comment.

Anonymous said...

Yeah let's get those mut$%^&%!
@TIE Calm down, the council asked for evidence, first post one week ago what's the problem?

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm talking to a deleted post

thisisengland said...

Oh well, thick, whining, and (in a sarky tone) should be in PR. Kick me.

CPZ said...

Guinness Record - today at around 11am there were 9 vans parked around the station plus one big delivery truck in front of ace van deposit

Ed said...

Got a good pic of that; where do I send it Nick?

Anonymous said...

I live on Upper Brockley Road, Brockley Cross end and D & M Van hire are proving to be a real pain - it's nothing about being bourgeois. The street is often filled with vans, it's impossible to park if you arrive home after 7.00pm. They can be parked for days on end outside my lounge window and then I have groups of people checking over the vans and signing them off. I think I have the right to a home without a business being operated on the pavement 20ft from my window. I'm all for enterprise but if you are running a business which requires parking vehicles possibly premises with parking would be a better option.

Mb said...

That just about sums it up, nothing to do with attacking the business just source an appropriate site and don't use the public highways as your depot.

Brockley Nick said...

Diary - February 9th, 8.10am. 4 vans in Brockley Cross, 6 on Coulgate Street, including one D&M one parked on yellow lines.

silenius said...

are you still collecting photos? Where do I send them?

Anonymous said...

Also a big problem (sorry if it has been mentioned before, but I haven't read all the comments) is that the drivers tend to ignore any kind of road safety and priority when they start their vans. I drive along this road every day and on many occasions one of the drivers has forced his way into the traffic, making it very dangereous for everyone. Really shocking that they get along with it.
Also, I don't undertsand why the warden who is so keen to giving tickets to people who shop in the area when it's 1 minute past 4, isn't as keen with the vans?

Anonymous said...

People of Brockley, we've had a plain white van blocking our back gate for at least six weeks now and it hasn't budged. No surprises then on making a phone call to D&M vans to ask whether it belongs to them, indeed it does and they have promised to move it tomorrow. D&M Van Hire and Van Removal Service. That's novel.

Anonymous said...

Sub-human scum!

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