Monday, November 12

The Remembrance Parking Fine

As most people in the UK and Commonwealth stopped what they were doing yesterday and stood in respectful silence at 11 o'clock on the eleventh day of the eleventh month in due dereference to our Nations 'Glorious Dead'. Halifax Parking Wardens in blatant disrespect were handing out fixed penalty parking fines actually during the two minute silence to vehicles while the drivers were attending the local war memorial service.

The vehicles were parked in a residential street with reserved parking for residents. Many cars had been used to transport elderly and infirm people and had for obvious reasons parked a short distance from where the service of Remembrance was being held.

The owner of one vehicle Malcolm Walker was furious about the incident and told BBC Radio Leeds that amazingly the fixed penalty notices were actually being affixed to vehicles during the two minute silence.

As reported on the BBC Leeds website Mr Walker said to the Council Parking Warden :

"I said, do you not realise why these cars are actually parked here? They've come to remember the fallen could you not just go round the corner for five minutes and cut them some slack?'' He added ''could you not hear the bugles playing and the bank marching. She just looked at be blank. ''

The Parking Warden responded ''A, I'm doing my job, and B, I didn't even know there was a parade on.''

An unnamed spokesman for Calderdale Council who employed the inflexible local parking tax collector commented that it had responded to "numerous" complaints from residents in Dispensary Walk. He said to the BBC:

"Residents living there are frequently unable to park close to their own home because of other motorists parking illegally in their residents' parking area, and this causes them a great deal of difficulty, particularly if, for example, they need to load or unload from their cars. This is a regular ongoing problem for these residents, not only a once a year event."

The spokesman added (completely missing the point) ''the parking area for residents was clearly signed and there were more than 200 alternative spaces available so there was no reason for any motorist to abuse the residents' parking area".

Unfortunately incidents and official comments like this are not uncommon. Whilst the actions of one ignorant and inflexible parking warden can be put down to crass stupidity the response of Calderdale Council is by any standard quite disgraceful. When the authorities, Police and politicians complain of the lack or respect given to themselves or the lack of cooperation they should not commission yet another focus group or consultation exercise in an attempt to understand the problem they should simply examine their own working practices of which this incident in Halifax yesterday is but one example.

It is the earnest hope of the editor of this blog that if the officials at Calderdale Council insist on enforcing the £30 fine (which if left unpaid will increase to £60) Mr Walker and his fellow parkers refuse to pay and attend Halifax magistrates court in mass and present a verbal case of mitigation. Lest the Councilors at Halifax meanwhile remind their officials that Nelson once put his telescope to his blind eye for a reason.

14 comments:

Neil Herron said...

We will handle all appeals free of charge for anyone ticketed www.parkingappeals.co.uk or e-mail at enquiries@parkingappeals.co.uk

Anonymous said...

I'm in two minds about this one Peter. On one hand it does seem to be insensitive but on the other, the occassion still does not give the right to park illegally.
As someone who has suffered from thoughtless motorists parking in my street and walking into the nearby town centre, I can fully appreciate the frustrations of the residents.
I've had to leave my vehicle well away from my home far too often because some moron has parked over the entrance to my drive. Visitors to my home have had to park in other streets thereby adding to the problem in those streets.
Instead of ranting at Halifax Council, perhaps you should start a campaign for better and more cost effective public transport.
I'm curious to know how the man quoted knew that cars were being ticketed during the two minutes silence - He's obviously passionate about the occassion so wasn't he showing his own respects at the parade?

Peter Troy said...

Once again Anonymous you miss the fundamental point of my posting; which I am delighted to see that Neil Herron does not.

No one, least of all me, is complaining about the problems of non residential parked vehicles parked in reserved areas rather the greater issue of the actions of a local parking tax collector targeting visitors on the occasion of at national moment of remembrance, which I assure you from the time written on the fixed penalty notice were issued during and before the two minute silence. An attitude that adds to the resentment of the motoring population.

Incidentally as one Halifax resident has remarked to me today, the uniformed penalty notice officials do not normally work on a Sunday. Thus, it is a fair assumption that these vehicles were specially targeted last Sunday.

Whilst I agree that the public transport system in Britain needs improvement - I am, as a priority more likely to campaign on the anti-vehicle attitude of local authorities which is currently significant barrier to small business growth.

Anonymous said...

One would have thought that a caring local Council, sensitive to the needs of its older and disabled citzens, would have actually suspended the resident parking scheme from say 10am to noon, to enable parking close to the ceremony. No doubt around the war memorial/ceremony there were assorted road closures or parking restrictions in place to allow people to attend. This is a disgusting example of uncaring bureaucracy, by officials who should know better!

Anonymous said...

I haven't missed the point of your posting at all Peter. Because these people were attending a Remembrance parade they should be allowed to inconvenience local residents despite there being empty places in nearby car parks.
That's all right then.
Incidentally, Wardens have worked 7 days a week in Halifax for years, your source was wrong.

Peter Troy said...

I see we are now attracting a better class of anonymous comment. The comment that the Council could ''have actually suspended the resident parking scheme from say 10am to noon, to enable parking close to the ceremony'' is clearly the correct course of action.

It is the Nelson's blind eye concept that the other anonymous contributor misses.

Stewed Cabbage said...

Mr Anonymous - you must be a bloke judging by your writing style. You leave comments on this blog which as Peter has poined out always misses the point of the post that you are commenting on. If you think that it is acceptable to put notices of fines on the cars that have transported elderly and infirm people to the most imprtant national ceremony of the year that is held in communities accross the country you truly are the moron that the Editor in his wisdom has discribed you as.

Anonymous said...

Stewed cabbage, what evidence do you have that elderly and infirm people were transported in these cars?
None whatsoever.
Elderly and infirm used the car park about 50 yards from the parade. The street where this terrible incident occoured is at least 400 yards away. There were empty places in the car park, why didn't these motorists use them? I suspect it was because they weren't at the parade at all and we've been had.
Perhaps Neil Herron can let us know whether he has had any of these persecuted motorists in touch with him.

Peter Troy said...

So Mr Anonymous you support the actions of the Halifax car parking tax official working on overtime rates on Sunday. On the other hand (and any many other thinking people that I have discussed this issue with) think that it is a disgraceful act of inappropriate law enforcement.

So now lets all move on, perhaps you Mr Anonymous should go of and set up your own Anonymous Blog - for Anonymous readers perhaps - where you can write about all the issues and minutia that you think are important to the Anonymous masses (clearly as you are a supporter of New Labour's enlarged Public Sector there is much you can comment on).

For the record I have spoken to a number of drivers (as have BBC radio Journalists) of the vehicles who received fixed penalty fines whilst they were observing the two minutes silence at the War Memorial in Halifax and I stand by all the statements in the post and those I have made on the comments section.

I end this discussion with the point I made at the end of the orginal post - Nelson put his telescope to his blind eye for a reason. Something that neither Mr Anonymous nor the paid officials in Halifax fully understand; which is actually very sad.

Anonymous said...

We should not have Parking attendants, these people should be creating something our society can trade with, instead they are creaming money off those few who do.

Sarah Hopperty said...

Well that last Anonymous comment is most welcome on this Blog. Mr (nasty) Anonymous please note!

Anonymous said...

Can I suggest that you look up Dispensary Walk, Halifax on Google Earth. The area is full of car parks. I wish I had this many spaces available to me here in Anonymous town
I opened this discussion?? by being in two minds about the situation. I've never once said I supported the decision to ticket on this important day and I am certainly no supporter of New Labour.
Sadly, this is not a blog for discussing anything. It is the world according to Peter Troy and everyone else is wrong.
As to your comment about speaking to several drivers - well I'll leave that to your readers to make their mind up about when they've looked at Google Earth.
You've been had by someone who was clearly parked illegally in a residents space and got caught.

Peter Troy said...

No one has been 'had' as BBC Radio Leeds have correctly reported.

If open debate was not encouraged on this glorious Blog by Anonymous crtitics then Mr Anonymous would have been deleted long ago; which is becoming a tempting option.

Perhaps Mr Anonymous would care to move his attention to the fact that many Independent Ratailers are suffering because of the parking policies of local authorities or perhaps comment on one of the other issues raised by any one of the many posts above. Or beeter still start up is own Blog!

www.parkingfinerants.co.uk said...

Absolutely senseless. Don't these people have any feelings. It is very insensitive. They could have easily looked the other way.

Gary
www.parkingfineranst.co.uk