Sunday, April 16, 2006

Ticket This

After a reading a complaint about traffic wardens on the website yesterday, I see that the same unpopular species of local government contractor are to be told by the government to stop victimising motorists.

Attendants will have to curb the petty habit of ticketing motorists who have overstayed by a minute, or whose wheels stray just an inch over the line.

Ministers facing local elections next month have finally awoken to the fact that many motorists are infuriated by the behaviour of wardens who are under pressure to extract maximum revenue from drivers.

A transport department memo sent to members of the Commons transport select committee accuses local authorities of employing wardens without proper training and allowing staff to reject valid appeals against fines. It also calls for an end to “confusing” and “incomprehensible” parking restriction signs.

The committee is investigating parking enforcement across England amid a backlash against the behaviour of some wardens as recent figures show fines in 2003-04 surging past £1 billion for the first time.

My most recent experience of the warden scourge was three years ago in Westminster, when on two consecutive days, traffic wardens ticketed my motorcycle on private property. Only the presence of my digital camera on appeal, saved me from almost £200 worth of fines issued by men who spoke little or no English, could have been Rwandan war criminals or Albanian brigands for all I know but had all the power of the establishment because they happened to be wearing a uniform.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Those Westminster wardens were probably from some country which Martin Wise wants to give large amounts of money to, rather than spend it on Cliftonville and other places in the UK where its really needed first.
At least if we give it to those Arican countries maybe their traffic wardens won't be economic migrants over here.
Our Thanet traffic wardens seem to be a pretty reasonable bunch mostly.

Anonymous said...

If our local wardens are reasonable is that the explaination for them not enforcing the parking on double yellow lines on Marine Terrace?

Anonymous said...

I have seen them ticketing on Marine Terrace, also when I have walked along there many of the parked cars have blue disabled badges so I suppose are allowd to park there..
The wardens are quite thinly spread around Thanet and can't be everywhere at once.
When I described them as reasonable I meant that they are not vicious predators like the London traffic wardens who will even ticket a hearse or a BT engineers van or a car stuck in traffic which isn't even parked!
You have to be an unlucky, pretty stupid or callous parker in Thanet to get a ticket.
And it seems to work pretty well imho.

Anonymous said...

According to the Trevor Macdonald programme the other evening, most parking signs and markings are either wrong or out of date. It may pay itinerate parkers to get a copy of the regulations. Bet they cost less than £200

Anonymous said...

I am told that the sale of fake disabled display packages for car windscreens is quite prevalent. I haven't seen many disabled youngsters in Escape on Fri and sat nites!

Anonymous said...

Not when they went in perhaps, but have you seen them when they stagger out?

Anonymous said...

Aren't they mostly too young to obtain a driving licence?
I know they shouldn't be.

Mr Friday said...

I think the system for disabled parking passes needs to be completely reviewed.

1. It seems that a lot of people displaying these passes have no other ailment than just "being old". I have seen countless cars parked displaying a disabled badge and the occupants really do not have any impairment to their mobility whatsoever.

2. Why do disabled people get free parking ? Yes, I accept the point that genuine disabled people need to be able to park closer to amenities and should have reserved bays but why is there no charge ? Disabled doesn't always mean poor.

Anonymous said...

Oh well Mr Friday perhaps we should take away their free bus passes as well, and their allowance for crutches, built up shoes etc etc.
Let 'em crawl wherever they're going.
Then we can send all the money we save to Africa.

Mr Friday said...

As I said, I have no problem whatsoever with genuine disabled people having designated parking spaces but merely questioned the definition of "disabled" which seems to apply these days and also raised the very valid point about the automatic link that seems to be made between disability and income levels.

Why not allow all pensioners to park free or unemployed people ?

Seems to be a taboo point to raise but a constructive debate on it would be welcome.