Like in many other parts of the country parking is a problem in many residential areas of Beveren. Illegal parking is not only against the rules, but it also damages the verges. In an effort to address the issues without having to issue scores of fines the local council has decided to use a secret weapon: garden gnomes.
A number of roadside posters featuring gnomes looking disparagingly at cars that are parked on verges have been put in place. The Christian democrat Alderman responsible for transport in Beveren Raf Van Roeyen told VRT Radio 2 "The campaign image features a gnome winking. This is how we want to bring the message over”.
It would appear that the campaign has been successful and the residents of the Meidoornlaan have noticed the difference.
"Before people often parked on the verges, but since the gnomes have been there this is no longer the case”, one local told VRT Radio 2.