Man has £650 fine for driving by his home, a 'school street', revoked

Father, 39, who was fined £650 for driving outside his own home when road became ‘school street’ says ‘justice’ has been served as Council revoke penalties – but plight continues for neighbours

  • A man has had £650 of fines for driving outside his home revoked by a council 
  • Abdul Noormohamed, 39, was accused of driving in a restricted school zone
  • The Harrow man said he had a permit and now says ‘justice’ has been served

A dad who was fined £650 for driving outside his own home has been celebrating after the tickets he received were finally cancelled by the council that issues them.

Abdul Noormohamed, 39, said ‘justice’ had been served and a weight has been lifted off his shoulders after Harrow Council revoked a series of fines he was given for driving in a restricted zone.

Although he says the council has not accepted any fault in the matter.

The origin of the fine arises from Abdul driving in a school street zone, which are areas designed to prevent people using certain roads at school drop off and pick up times.

Mr Noormohamed, who lives in the zone near Marlborough School, was stunned to discover he had been fined five times for driving on his own road during these hours. 

Abdul Noormohamed, 39, had £650 worth of fines overturned after he was given five tickets for driving outside his home  – a ‘school street’ that has restrictions for vehicles around the start and end of the school day

Mr Noormohamed maintains that he registered his car and van during the initial trial period of the school street in 2020

He tried contacting the council, local politicians, but received little response. 

He said: ‘It feels like a huge weight off my shoulders. [The council] still hasn’t accepted any fault, they still made me register even though I’d already done so, but at least they cancelled them.’

Harrow Council have been contacted to find out if Mr Noormohamed did have a valid permit in the first place.

What are school streets?

A school street is a road with a school on it, or nearby, that has a prohibition of motor vehicles at the start and end of the school day

Traffic signs at the start of the school streets inform drivers of the restrictions

Vehicles issued with a permit, will be allowed to enter the zone during its operational hours

school streets are said to have benefits such as: 

  • Improving road safety for pupils and residents
  • Reducing air pollution in the local area
  • Encouraging more physically active journeys to and from school
  • Reducing congestion outside the school
  • Allowing space for social distancing outside of schools

Despite this success, Abdul said his neighbours are facing similar issues and he has called on the council to immediately repay any fines handed out to those in similar positions.

He added: ‘Since this has all come out, people have been coming up telling me they’ve had the same problem.

‘They can’t get through to anyone – it’s as if one department at the council doesn’t know what the others are doing.’

He said he ‘felt like a celebrity’ when he went to pick his three daughters up from Marlborough, with several parents and teachers pointing out that they too had been stung by the cameras.

While he was pleased to see his fines written off, Abdul said there are still a number of outstanding problems with the school streets scheme. 

The council began trialling the school street scheme in 2020 for an 18-month trial period, during which they saw an increase in active travel and reported that children felt safer on their journey to school.

Low-traffic neighbourhoods were also experimented with, they stopped cars, vans and other vehicles from using quiet roads as shortcuts.

However the council’s traffic and road safety advisory panel scrapped this idea, saying a consultation ‘made it very clear’ there was no appetite for the measures.

Though, in February this year four school streets were made permanent features of the town.

There are concerns around the signs warning drivers that they cannot use the street by the school at certain times – approaching from the busy Harrow View, they would be unaware until the last minute and could be forced to brake in the middle of the road.

School streets are designed to improve the safety and well-being of children and young people as they travel to school (file photo of a school street) 

And those living in the zone still struggle to have visitors round or get deliveries to their door with people fearful of being fined.

Abdul said: ‘My house is usually very active, my door is always open. I’d have people coming and going all day every day, but I can’t anymore.’

He added there is the issue of the restrictions forcing cars onto other nearby roads, which simply shunts pollution onto others. 

Harrow Council has been approached for comment. 

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