PARKING WARS: These residents had an amusing and honest response to a ‘polite notice’ from the builders

Josephine Avenue, Brixton, known for its leafy mature trees, Urban Art Fair and, now, an amusing war of polite notices.

Resident Bob Eagleton noticed the sign apparently from contractors politely asking people not to park in front of the construction site.

sign wars
Pic by Robert Eaglestone @BobEaglestone

Local residents in these parts aren’t the ones to take that kind of polite notice lying down. Their response is a funny one. This sign appeared this morning, apparently from the ‘Committee of Public Parking Safety’:

Pic by Robert Eaglestone @BobEaglestone
Pic by Robert Eaglestone @BobEaglestone






  1. At least they left a note, usually it’s a couple of rubbish bins and 3 or 4 cones left on the road!

  2. Does anyone know which site is being developed? The old Job Centre accross the road, or the wasteland behind the sign? I don’t remember seeing a planning notice for the wasteland.

  3. It’s a fair enough responsive, I mean, legitimate for someone to express that – but it’s also snippy, haughty and presumptuous. It *was* a polite request – a humanistic and sensible way of doing things. What would life be like if we made these requests and considered our responses to them, rather than relying on systems of authority and power? Is it better that builders have a chat to the neighbours and made requests of the general public, or that they have to go through a costly and bureaucratic process which ties up the space for a fixed period of time – extremely unlikely to be the precise period the builders end up needing?

    There are good reasons why we do the latter, but also very good reasons we might seriously consider the former. It seems to me very much in keeping with what I understand of ‘Brixton spirit’ to give this a go!

    Of course, the origin of ‘polite notice’ headings were (allegedly – or is it a factoid?) to make people believe that they were legally binding ‘police notices’, and you *can* choose to read all kinds of assumptions and implicit threats into the note – but they’re only there if you read them in!

  4. Yes it’s public space. Yet private motorists also feel like it’s their god given right to leave their private property on it. I disagree with both notices. A minority of Lambeth residents own cars, yet parked private vehicles take up an inordinate amount of road (& pavement) space.

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