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 Problems include; totally variant opinion and advice, all paperwork for instance has outdated telephone numbers and names on it, wardens are not trained [because forced off income support] to know that one parking bay is permanent, another short term,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.