Sunday parking restrictions are wrong

January 10, 2011 10:10 AM

One of the great pleasures of recent years has been driving round a city on a Sunday, enjoying the way urban life used to be before the explosion of parking restrictions, just the sensible single and double yellow line rules. When controlled parking zones were first introduced where I used to live, the council argued that it was for the benefit of local residents, saving them from the ravages of commuter parking and was certainly nothing whatsoever to do with raising revenue. Now, that pretence has been thrown out of the window, as councils across England, including Bath, are extending parking charges to a Sunday.

Not only is this a fundamental denial of the original reason for parking restrictions, that they are for our own good, and not about screwing us for more money, but Sunday parking charges will also have a negative impact on Sunday trading. For most urban dwellers, Sunday has become more attractive as a shopping day because of the lack of parking restrictions. To remove this incentive will be another blow for already struggling local retailers. It’s also a favourite day for families to take their children to museums and galleries. Now the exorbitant cost of Sunday parking will be another burden to their stretched finances.

As always, rather than raising taxes from us—as parking restrictions now clearly are—why not cut the wages of our ludicrously overpaid senior council managers? Oh no, that would be far too uncomfortable for our cosseted councilmen and women.

By the way, why is Bath council having difficulties with even the simplest of services? Having dutifully phoned the council to find out exactly when I should leave out my Christmas tree for recycling collection, I ignored the pleas and sobs of my children to strip the tree early of its decoration and cut it in half as directed (so as not to distress any of the collectors with its size). Twelfth Night came and passed and still my decapitated tree is standing outside our house. I phoned the council again, who apologised for the earlier duff information, and said it would be collected this weekend. Still there and now, of course, it has attracted a little forest of other discarded trees all forlornly waiting to be turned into wood chips. Come on B&NES council, how difficult is it to give out accurate information on refuse collection and stick to it?One of the great pleasures of recent years has been driving round a city on a Sunday, enjoying the way urban life used to be before the explosion of parking restrictions, just the sensible single and double yellow line rules. When controlled parking zones were first introduced where I used to live, the council argued that it was for the benefit of local residents, saving them from the ravages of commuter parking and was certainly nothing whatsoever to do with raising revenue. Now, that pretence has been thrown out of the window, as councils across England, including Bath, are extending parking charges to a Sunday.

Not only is this a fundamental denial of the original reason for parking restrictions, that they are for our own good, and not about screwing us for more money, but Sunday parking charges will also have a negative impact on Sunday trading. For most urban dwellers, Sunday has become more attractive as a shopping day because of the lack of parking restrictions. To remove this incentive will be another blow for already struggling local retailers. It’s also a favourite day for families to take their children to museums and galleries. Now the exorbitant cost of Sunday parking will be another burden to their stretched finances.

As always, rather than raising taxes from us—as parking restrictions now clearly are—why not cut the wages of our ludicrously overpaid senior council managers? Oh no, that would be far too uncomfortable for our cosseted councilmen and women.

By the way, why is Bath council having difficulties with even the simplest of services? Having dutifully phoned the council to find out exactly when I should leave out my Christmas tree for recycling collection, I ignored the pleas and sobs of my children to strip the tree early of its decoration and cut it in half as directed (so as not to distress any of the collectors with its size). Twelfth Night came and passed and still my decapitated tree is standing outside our house. I phoned the council again, who apologised for the earlier duff information, and said it would be collected this weekend. Still there and now, of course, it has attracted a little forest of other discarded trees all forlornly waiting to be turned into wood chips. Come on B&NES council, how difficult is it to give out accurate information on refuse collection and stick to it?

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