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calendar   Sunday - October 13, 2013

mind how you go and watch where you park. except travellers.

The following is by RICHARD LITTLEJOHN, my overall favorite at the Daily Mail, and a man HATED by the politically correct left.
Bit of background in order.
Lots of councils and btw generally the gween parties where they hold any sway at all, would like to make the world safer and reduce carbon blah,blah and the answer they come up with, is ban cars in cities like, say the one we are near.  Winchester.  England’s first capitol. Yeah, the streets are narrow and old and the town can be crowded.  The parking is also VERY expensive.  There isn’t any easy and free parking. People who do park on the side streets have permits (COSTLY TOO) because they live in the many houses or flats that are part of the town. So they can have cars but not free. And no guarantee you’ll always be able to park right smack in front of the place where you dwell.

Anyway ... a week or two ago a man dropped off his wife I believe it was either at an eye clinic for an exam or else a doctor’s office. He pulled into a space only long enough to drop her off but .... was seen by a warden and given an immediate fine of £70.  There was a yellow line there and he stopped so really, he did violate parking restrictions. But gee. It was only a matter of seconds.  So there has been a bit of that in the news with folks paying fines and stores in town saying business ain’t so good when folks don’t return.

This column is of interest mostly due to a reply from a town council.  Bizarre. 

Richard Littlejohn

For the past three years, the Communities Secretary has been promising to crack down on councils abusing parking regulations to fill their coffers.
He means well, but councils simply ignore him. They always find ways of milking the motorist.
Faced with a fall in revenue, they’ll extend parking restrictions to Sundays — which have traditionally been free in most places.

Local authorities won’t ever willingly surrender the money they collect from parking fines, which rake in £1.3 billion a year. Town Halls now make more out of parking and service charges than they do from council tax.

I could fill this column every week with stories of vindictive traffic wardens, insane parking restrictions, crippling fines and grasping bureaucrats, who appear to take a perverse pleasure in persecuting the very people they are paid to serve.

The Stourbridge Road car park was taken over by a group of travellers who were happily camping on the site.
‘I would be very curious to see what sort of parking fees or fines they have paid.’

Coincidentally, I discovered this letter after reading an email from Mail reader Paul Raybould, a security manager who has lived in Bromsgrove for 20 years.
Paul has become so infuriated with the council’s parking regime that he wrote to his MP, Sajid Javid, making a similar point about the travellers and asking him to investigate.

Why should motorists be fined for overstaying by a few minutes when travellers can occupy a car park for months without having to pay a penny?
This is the reply Mr Javid received from Bromsgrove District Council. It is a minor classic of its kind:

‘There appears to be some confusion regarding the basis upon which the travellers were on the car park in question.

‘The position in respect of any normal user of the car park is that, by entering and parking their vehicle, they are entering into a contract with the Council to pay a sum of money in return for the Council allowing them to leave their vehicle for a specified amount of time.

‘If the vehicle is left for longer than the paid for time, no payment is made, or there is a failure to comply with parking regulations, there is, in effect, a breach of contract which entitles the Council to make a penalty charge.

‘In the case of the travellers, they were on the car park as illegal occupiers and, as such, there was no contract with them as the purpose for which they entered was not permitted.

‘In the circumstances the appropriate course of action was not for “breach of contract” but for “illegal occupation”.’

-30-

After that, I lost the will to live. But you get the gist.

If you park legally, but overstay by a few minutes, you’ll get hammered.

However, if you occupy the car park illegally, you can stay there as long as you like — or at least until the council can get a court order to evict you.
I shouldn’t have thought there’s any likelihood of the travellers having to pay several months’ car parking charges when they do have to move on.
Until then, Bromsgrove is down one car park and the High Street is dying on its feet.

Instead of relaxing regulations elsewhere, the council steps up enforcement, driving shoppers and diners away in droves.
Politicians pay lip-service to ‘the vast majority of hard-working people who play by the rules’.
Meanwhile, the system bends over backwards to accommodate ‘vulnerable minorities’ such as savvy travellers who deliberately and repeatedly refuse to play by the rules.

Here’s a plan. Since councils will ignore all attempts to stop them screwing motorists, next time you get a ticket refuse to pay it on the grounds that you’re not actually ‘parking’.
Say that you’re ‘illegally occupying’ the bay for half an hour and therefore the usual rules don’t apply. Let the council’s lawyers pick the bones out of it.
Better still, swap your car for a Toyota 4x4 and a caravan and park it where the hell you like.
It won’t get you anywhere in the long run but if enough people try it on, at least it will drive the council parking nazis to distraction for a few months.
They’re long overdue a taste of their own medicine.

RL at the Mail


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 10/13/2013 at 05:00 AM   
Filed Under: • Daily Life •  
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