Wednesday 13 January 2010

Surprise Surprise - Free after three parking doesn't count in Burnt Oak

Barnet Council made a big song and dance of their "free after three" parking scheme for the Boroughs High Streets. The idea was to promote trade for local shops. Let me quote a little sentence from the press release.

The initiative - called ‘Free after Three’ – will give residents free parking on all council pay and display machines and in all council car parks. It will run from Monday 7 December to Sunday 3 January 2010.

Sadly there was a little piece of smallprint that many people missed

Other parking restrictions, such as single and double yellow lines, and residents’ parking zones, will still apply.

As a result of this, many traders in Burnt Oak found that their customers cars were ticketed by traffic wardens when various restrictions in the area kicked in at 5.30pm. The one group who were fully aware of this were the wardens who turned up en mass at 5.30 and issued stacks of tickets. Parking restrictions and yellow lines were originally brought in to keep the traffic flowing and stop dangerous parking. Now it is a cash cow for local authorities. Barnets Conservative administration makes a song and dance of its "motorist friendly" policy. By this they mean removing road humps on side roads. When it comes to milking motorists for every last penny, they are decidedly unfriendly. Barnet make more in parking fees and fines than any other Borough. Like many people in Barnet, I have to pay for a parking permit. For the privelidge of the right to park outside my house between 10am and 11am, I pay for an annual permit. I pay the same as other residents where the restriction applies between 9am and 5pm. In effect I pay for a parking regulation scheme for Marks and Spencers car park overspill in Mill Hill Broadway. I accept that Barnet Council has to regulate it's parking, but it seems to me that the very last consideration in all of this is the motorist. I wonder how much grit the £3.5 raised by these dodgy schemes would buy. I think we'd find it easier to stomach if we knew that the money was put back into roads. Given the number of pot holes in Barnets streets it is clear that this is the last thing they'd actually spend the money on.

1 comment:

Diplo_Daddy said...

Ahhh, the small print...need to watch out for that bit! Remember, nothing is for FREE in this world.