Parking Wardens out in force on New Year’s Day

Motorists are used to being treated as cash-cows by the government, and local councils are no exception. One of my fears for the year ahead is councils trying to raise as much revenue as possible by issuing fines to drivers. Many councils throughout the country have significantly increased the amount of parking wardens they employ. This can mean only one thing. Any minor infringement of the law, and you will be clobbered with a fine.

This story from the Hull & East Riding Mail however shows how mean spirited East Riding of Yorkshire Council can be. On every Saturday in December, you could park for free in Beverley. Naturally, this is very popular with both shoppers and traders alike, but when Big Ben heralded the start of 2011, parking charges resumed. As you will remember, January 1 this year fell on a Saturday, and even though it was New Year's Day, you still needed a parking ticket from 8.00 am.

Sixty-two motorists who had parked their cars so they wouldn't be 'drinking and driving' were caught out and received £60 fines, or £25 if paid within seven days. Parking wardens were out in force as early as 9.00 am! Although the council states it was well publicised that charges would apply, clearly it knew many would fall foul. Why else would you send parking wardens out as early as this on January 1?

To add insult to injury, very few shops were open, and there certainly wasn't a competition for parking spaces. East Riding Council, who is supposed to be there to serve the people, has once again showed how mean spirited and out of touch it is. So my advice for the coming year is watch how and where you park your car. If it's hanging over a yellow line by a couple inches, don't be surprised if you fall foul of the parking wardens, and you know your local council will stick to the letter of the law. They don't know what the spirit of the law means.

If you have any similar stories you wish to share, e-mail me - [email protected] - and I will do my best to highlight them.

UPDATE: ERYC have agreed to refund all parking fines issue on New Year's Day.

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