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Parking on pavements is now ok!

12 Jul

A recent blog post in the challenging blog titled “‘Crap Cycling & Walking in Waltham Forest’”  tells us of the case of a pavement parker who won an appeal by arguing that he had done it lots of time before and hadn’t been fined. The appeal adjudicator recommended that the council reconsider any further pending fines. He also said that CCTV cameras should not be used for issuing parking fines “because that wasn’t what they were designed for. They were designed as a deterrent to theft and anti-social behaviour”.

A council spokesperson plaintively commented that “Parking on the pavement is illegal unless signs permit it. We are getting increasing numbers of calls from wheelchair and buggy users and parents complaining about the lack of space caused by cars blocking the way, which is why we increased enforcement in the area”.

Be aware that London has special powers to fine pavement parking. Cars even a little bit on the pavement can theoretically already be fined unless there is special signage and marking saying that their can.

Same old….

Say thank you to a parking warden!

28 Jun

I was prompted to write this post after reading the sorry tale of ‘celeb’ Ingrid Tarrant’s outburst after being challenged by a police officer for parking in a bus stop; she drove off, resisted arrest and was convicted for ‘unnecessary obstruction, wilfully obstructing a Pc, resisting a Pc and failing to stop’ and was fined £2,700 with £1,200 costs. Not content with that she appealed, lost and received a further £750 costs yesterday. The appeal judge said “She has been able to persuade herself that she was in the right and the officer was in the wrong and that self-deception enabled her to believe what she had said.”

Personally I think that this ‘self-deception’ is behind the whole phenomenon; most motorists would probably grudgingly agree if challenged that without enforcement of parking regulations life in urban areas would quickly descent into chaos for everyone (including motorists), they would probably also agree that traffic wardens need to actually issue tickets and not respond to special pleading from every motorist who comes back to their car as they are issuing them.

The phrase ‘it’s a fair cop’ doesn’t seem to be considered to apply to parking offenses. If someone makes a racist remark or sexist remark it is likely to get challenged, but berating traffic wardens is still ok (just). Personally I think that change is coming and motoring culture is becoming a bit tired in many cities – possibly I am being optimistic, however people are starting to challenge this position, check out the ‘Traffic wardens are people too‘ article for further thoughts on the matter.

When I pass traffic wardens these days I say ‘thank you’ and appreciate them for doing a great job; and I have starting doing this more contentiously since being told by one warden that I was the first person who had ever thanked them for doing their job in their entire career! Isn’t that extraordinary – someone doing an important job (like police officers, nurses, firemen etc) but never ever get thanked for doing it.

I think that PL should do some more work on this at some point; in the mean time try saying ‘thank you’ next time you pass a traffic warden and see what happens. My experience is that they need a little convincing that one is even being genuine!