Residents' parking permits

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Monday 1 March 2004 1.00pm
Ok, so a boring one, and inviting of ridicule I know, but then that's boring too.

I'm essentially a walker, and cyclist but do have a car because it helps with a 3 yr old who also walks and cycles most places. One very specific point. I want to force Southwark Council Parking People to issue reminders for parking permits by law. That's it, principally. Yes, whatever anyone of you with cars or permits [or employed by the Council in the dep't] think it is done at their discretion but everyone who works in association with parking in Southwark has a differing view/excuse. Fact; it is an aspiration, no more.

The context of this is that the entire Parking operation is pitiably regulated, as anyone with experience of it will know. Problems include; totally variant opinion and advice, all paperwork for instance has outdated telephone numbers and names on it, wardens are not trained [because forced off income support] to know that one parking bay is permanent, another short term, so every now and again you get a ticket which has to be contested. The lack of training is not helped by an absence of signposting, of course, yet another pathetic characteristic of Southwark's Parking Office.

The list of small but very unnecessary frustrations is long, and, yes, boring. All around. Hence one concrete goal; to force Southwark to issue a reminder for parking permits and introduce some kind of reasonable code of behaviour around that payment. Then: how about postal renewal, DD for instance!! Email for instance!! Revolution!!! [for instance, which is another point ...]

My underlying point; they are super efficient at ticketing, clamping, towing cars -replete with endless well rehearsed statutory blah- in shocking contrast to their pitiable inefficiency at administering parking even for payers and the observant [or for instance at removing stolen, abandoned, burnt out vehicles]. Of course we are all paying, one way or another, for all of this, and then we car parkers pay a specific amount for a permit which should cover the cost of training, printing of up to date phone numbers on paperwork, and certainly pay for a statutory reminder to be sent out for permits.

It's a small thing but it needs to change. The whole thing needs to change too and I just urge anyone who is tired of wasting time on this -challenging unquestionably mistaken tickets, just for instance- whilst also paying for this, to perhaps point out the discrepancy between effort and resources ploughed into highly proftitable punishment versus total lack of will invested in admistering the 'system' to write here, to call or write to the Council and to pursue it with Transport for London too. It just has to change, it needs adult, transparent, metropolitan, 21st century regulation. Let's change it.

Finally, I would really love to know ,and believe it should be in the public domain, exactly who profits from this, how much and what precise relationship they have to the Council, to the Council in the past, and what can be done about that too.

Tuesday 2 March 2004 8.25am
just one look at the bevy of wardens down our street is enough to warn my neighbours that their permits are due to expire :-)

and the porcine element takes to the sky...
Tuesday 2 March 2004 11.16am
wouldn't it be better:

1) to invest in a cheap calendar and write down the date(s) of renewals. Most people already have calendars, and use them for just this purpose.

2) to then campaign for Southwark Parking to save the money you want to spend on sending out reminders and updating the contact details on the letterhead on something like training the wardens or marking out bays more visibly


...there's plenty more c**** in the cup.
Tuesday 2 March 2004 1.31pm
Weell you shouldn't have expected sympathy from Ivanhoe. But you'll get it from me, and a 'thank you' for warning me to keep an eye out for the renewal time for my permit. They don't do anything to try to help you, do they?
Tuesday 2 March 2004 3.04pm
well! it is kind of amusing how we turn in on ourselves instead of expecting, demanding simple elementary a,b,c competence from a pitiful Council.

common sense, manners even, generate reminders, after which the fall back calendar can rightly be blamed. or a busy life, or a three year old whose seat belt takes priority over checking the date on the permit [not least because obviously a reminder will be issued, as they told me in the office], etc.

what can you say if you ignore or forget having recd a reminder which ought to be covered in the 76 or so of the fee, and if not then the 76.20, because presumably [not, actually] the Office has a system up and running which only requires the addition of a stamp. in fact the speedier collection of my fee would have bought a heap of stamps. so make room for economic literacy on the list.

so systemic incompetence/total indifference and a general sense that to hit a nail on its head is way too much to expect of a poor old Council which has so many other things to fail at, or another calendar? hmm.

come off it Ivanhoe! let's raise those expectations so that you might at least be able to trip over them!
Tuesday 2 March 2004 3.33pm
"Come off it" yourself Tom, although I'd prefer to keep this a little more civil.

I find it hard to make out any consistent line of argument through your post above, but from what I can gather it goes like this (forgive me if I'm wrong. I really have tried to read through it twice now):

"I'm p*ssed off that my permit has run out, and I think that the least they can do it to remind me about it."

"I've got a child, and [because child cannot put its own seatbelt on] that puts me into a special class of people who deserve special help."

I just don't agree that we have a right to expect everything to be done for us. If I get a permit for a period of time, I would expect to remind myself of the need to renew it (and wouldn't cry foul if I forgot and got a ticket).

We have rights, and we also have responsibilities. I consider that as an adult who's been passed OK to own, maintain, and drive a car, I should be expected to take care of some basic housekeeping like renewing the parking permit.

If, for instance, you had an accident whilst driving, hurt another person, and then "found out" that they weren't going to receive any compensation because no one had reminded you to renew your insurance, would I be expected to have sympathy with you and rail against the insurance company because they didn't remind you?

[if you come out of the toilet with dirty hands, you've only got yourself to blame]

...there's plenty more c**** in the cup.
Tuesday 2 March 2004 5.06pm
You perfect person, Ivanhoe. Tom & I both wish we were like you, don't we Tom? (TFIC - see my thread on parking fines from 1 January this year)
Tuesday 2 March 2004 5.26pm
yep, mapmaker, perfect person, hopeless marksman. still, at least Southwark Council are perfect too. dear oh dear.
Tuesday 2 March 2004 5.32pm

You know my stance on this. I think it's entirely reasonable to expect people to remember to do things like renew their parking permits, and think it's unproductive to moan about it if you forget and have to pay the price.

My personal state of perfection has nothing to do with it. In fact, I think it is quite likely to have been my very forgetful nature and propensity to get caught out by similar things myself that has led me to conclude that it's no one's fault but my own and that I'm just wasting time complaining about it (as well as drawing attention to my own inability to sort myself out)

I think that by adopting an approach of always looking to blame anyone other than oneself, we are contributing to a society where people no are longer amazed that McD's feel the need to put "Caution! Hot!" notices on coffee cups.

Also, I've got no axe to grind for Sthk Parking. I'm sure they are as good and as bad as any bunch of human beings. As such, I'm sure they issue a certain number of wrong tickets. However, what chance has anyone of mounting a successful defence when the complaint lines are clogged with people blaming Sthk Parking for their own bad memories? It's the "Boy who cried "Wolf"" thing.

Now be quiet and take your medicine

...there's plenty more c**** in the cup.
Tuesday 2 March 2004 8.03pm
there is the disease.

send your 'stance' to Southwark Council -are they not capable of responsibility- and stop being so confusedly lost in the world.

which is also my way of suggesting you get out a bit into it.
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