9.30 this morning I managed to get a parking fine. Yes I was parked in a resident's parking slot without a permit, but it was the only car in the street...
I wouldn't complain if I hadn't tried to get a new permit (for my new car) from the Parking shop on New Year's eve. But they weren't taking cards, so I had no way of paying (despite having queued for ages).
Needless to say, I have put my £50 in the post to Southwark - payable by credit card, and posted to the Parking shop.
There's no point in arguing, is there. From my experience of the people in the parking shop, their command of English is second to all. (And before you righteous liberals jump on your soap boxes, that is not a racist observation, it is a fact.)
I have been to the Parking Shop three times over the last few months. My experiance of those behind the counters is that they are excellent, having to deal with a daily parade of irate parking fine payers and those trying to con a permit from them. It is a difficult job made almost impossible by Southwark Council who understaff and badly manage the place, so that after queuing for the usual 20 mins, those paying fines just want to fight with anyone because having to queue to pay a fine is just rubbing salt in the wound and those getting permits with perhaps just slightly incorrect identifcation would cheerfully kill because of their wasted time and the sure knowledge that it will be another long wait when they return.
The last time I was there I came away thinking that the uneccessary pressure those working there are put under is probably actionable under employment law.
Don't kill the messenger,- those who manage the Parking Shop, who I believe are also responsible for the way the local wardens work are the ones that you should direct your ire at.
It seems ridiculous to me that residents of SE1 who do not own cars cannot have a parking permit.
I hire cars regularly but due to this rule have no parking privileges - this has cost me a £165 fine in the past. I would have thought the council would encourage people to hire rather than own cars - 2 reasons: 1 it reduces congestion and 2. it reduces pollution.
Southwark council didnt want to know when I raised this with them.
I live in Zone C1 and residents can buy a book of 10 'Residents Visitor Permits' - the first book is about £15 and about £30 thereafter - each permit is for 1 day and is valid only in on street residents or shared resident/business parking places in the zone. I am not sure if these permits are available to other zones but I would think so. You get them from the Parking Shop OKR and you need proof of residency.
Given my earlier grumping about Southwark parking I sympathise with Mapmaker, but also agree with R Shaw.
The problem is that parking has become a form of non-taxation revenue for councils. Trouble is that though in the short term these taxes may be hidden, in the long term the costs start mounting for ordinary people. Which given that London is pretty inaffordable for ordinary people, means that they become a further driver to leave.
I got caught in a quiet side street at 9.30pm because the bay was apparantly suspended (just about to write my appeal, but to do this have lost my chance for a discount), MM tried to get a permit. Like myself I am sure that MM tries to keep to the rules but the fact is that enforcement of things like parking, bus lanes, speed restrictions and lights has been stepped up to an extent that many many ordinary people are now being caught many many more times.
My previous expectation was a fine a year which given we drive about 5000 miles a year most locally, seemed acceptable. This year it was four fines, none of which were deliberate or causing congestion. £200 rather than £50 is a big difference. And it must be worse for small contractors or people who have really scaped tiogether the money for the car that gives them vital mobility, eg shift workers.
Southwark's approach to parking is not aimed at preventing congestion, but is a tax and a harsh and regressive one at that. Who sets the policy? Do they have an email address?
Thanks Eileen, thats useful to know. Makes me angry though that Southwark Council didnt tell me about this when I asked them. I guess I should have asked my fellow residents on this site first! Cheers.
On the Today programme this morning the transport secretary, Alistair Darling was explaining his new Transport Bill for this year. The big change is that traffic wardens will now issue fixed price tickets for signal offences such as turning right at a no right hand turn signal or stopping in a yellow box at a traffic junction. He seemed to think that the wardens would not act in the way they do at the moment and would be well trained and responsible in carrying out their new duties. the suggestion that they would concentrate on issuing as many tickets as possible on a revenue raising scam seemed very unlikely to him.
Good to see our politicions know what's the reality on the street of their good ideas