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Phantom road sign vigilante at large in Aigbuth

Bogus notices on upmarket estate warn of massive fines for even *having* a dog

Written by . Published on June 3rd 2013.

Phantom road sign vigilante at large in Aigbuth

WE'VE heard of sharia law, but now in Liverpool we have Otters Law, applicable on a posh enclave close to Otterspool prom. 

Drive through the Riverside Park estate, with its abundance of 4x4s parked in neat driveways, and you’ll see signs - purporting to be from Liverpool City Council - threatening £1,000 fines for anybody even walking their dogs. 

Another imposes 10mph speed limits on motorists, but all is not what it seems.

Venturing into the estate, off Mersey Road, hand firmly gripped on the dog’s lead, I expected to be surrounded by a posse of local residents, sworn in by the estate’s Wyatt Twerp, saying: “There ain’t no filthy canines allowed in these parts, mister. Just turn around and get outta town.”

No Dogs In OtterspoolNo Dogs In Otterspool

But there wasn't even the twitch of a designer Venetian blind or clink of car keys.

Twelve signs, looking very official and bearing the logo and in the name of Liverpool City Council, have been attached to lamp-posts along the estate’s main through road, Malcroft Drive.

When Liverpool Confidential showed him pictures of the signs last week, a city council spokesman expressed total surprise. Thorough checks have since been made with various council departments normally responsible for signage, but everyone is stumped. 

Even the residents' group on the estate say they are mystified by how the signs got there.

Ricky Tomlinson's dog washing business advertisedDoggy style: Ricky Tomlinson's
pooch washing business advertised
A council spokesman told Confidential: "It appears that these signs may have been put up without our authorisation and we are checking who was responsible for them appearing. If we determine they are there without proper authority we will ask for the signs to be removed."

Mossley Hill Lib Dem Councillor Tina Gould has already made her mind up. 

“It has almost certainly been done without the authority of the council. 

As a ward councillor, nobody on this estate has raised any issues with me about dogs. If there are concerns that need to be raised I will be most happy to talk to residents. 

“However we can’t have people placing their own signs along the highway as it brings into question legitimate signage. For that reason it is important these signs are taken down as soon as possible.” 

The drive links Mersey Road with Riversdale Road and is used as a rat-run (they haven’t yet banned rats) avoiding busy Aigburth Road. 

In the centre of the estate, built on the site of the old Riversdale College, is a large pond, fountain cascading water into the air and illumination at night. 

Close by is a notice board, containing an advert for a dog grooming business operated by the actor Ricky Tomlinson and his daughter. 

Do those residents brave enough to own dogs, have to smuggle their pets out undercover to get their groomings and shampoo treatments? 

Otterspool Dogging10mph speed limit signs
adorn the posh Aigburth estate
Otters Law also allows residents to impose their own speed limit for cars. Head into Lawnhurst Grove. Luckily there are no speed cameras – if there had been maybe they would have caught the phantom sign fixer. 

As more gated and exclusive estates emerge across Liverpool, could we see residents attempting to deter all but invited visitors with a host of self-imposed rules? Some of the posher areas of the city already hire their own security patrols to keep a watchful eye on who is around, driving along what are public highways.

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9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Stan Collie-moreJune 3rd 2013.

Are you sure they didn't mean "no dogging" and got confused. It is Otterspool after all

2 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyJune 3rd 2013.

It does look more of a car keys in the bowl, swingers area.

Al SationJune 3rd 2013.

Speaking from experience?

AnonymousJune 3rd 2013.

Save loads of money by just dropping the letter 'L' off the name Otterspool.

AnonymousJune 3rd 2013.

Don't you just hate it when 'posh' people invade our communities with their posh houses and then do everything they can to create a big them-and-us divide. Maybe local shops shoukld refuse to serve them and tell them to sod off in their helicopters and boring 4-be-4s to Waitrose. The stuck up gits.

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyJune 3rd 2013.

Doesn't look any different to the surrounding communities. Lots of Semi Detached.

SaladDazeJune 3rd 2013.

Probably someone fed up at stepping in a dog turd and then ruining the carpet and causing the baby to go blind.

AnonymousJune 3rd 2013.

Some years ago I took my Yorkie called Jessie for a walk at Otterspool. I let her off the lead, and she disappeared into the undergrowth. I began calling "Jessie", and half a dozen blokes appeared in all directions from the bushes.

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