There's a few aspects to this, backed up by some personal stories that Im sure many people can sympathise with and have experienced the same or worse.
In London, and Im sure many other parts of the UK, but particularly in London, the local authorities have gone mad. In quiet residential streets near my home in Archway North London, you must have a parking permit which costs £85 per 6 months. If you pay to park it costs about £2 an hour. This is the same in every other borough, some more militant than others.
The parking permit itself is what it is, but what I DO mind is the attitude of the local authority and traffic wardens.
I can buy parking vouchers to give to friends. When Ive used them, the traffic wardens come round, and set their ALARMS for the time that the parking voucher ends, so that they come back exactly when it expires to issue a ticket. I know they do this because both Islington council and traffic wardens I have spoken to in person both admitted this.
What sort of a society are we living in where members of the public, albeit at work, go out to directly victimise other members of their local community? Other traffic wardens I have actually spoken to admitted they get prizes for those who issue the most tickets.
My boyfriend sometimes parks round the corner in Camden. The only times of day you are not allowed to park in this particular street is between 10am-noon Mon-Fri. Yet one street over in Islington, you cannot park between 8.30am-6.30pm. what is different about these 2 streets? nothing.
Islington only allow you as a resident to buy 10 all day parking vouchers per year. Once you've used all those you can buy 3 hour vouchers, so they have obviously thought about the all day parking times – and in blocks of 3 hour chunks you have this:
2.30pm-5.30pm – and then you still have 1 hour – so you have to use a 3 hour voucher for 1 hour.
its obviously a money making exercise by the council at EVERY turn.
Why can residents not buy more all day vouchers, and cheaper? why do we not get free vouchers for friends since we already pay road tax?
More importantly why are the fines £60 – equivalent to a weeks dole money – just for parking where our authority, who should be working FOR US – tell us we shouldn't?? This fine is actually £120 if you don't pay it within 2 weeks.
I think the price of the fines are too much and would like these reduced to £10 or £20 tops.
I would like a pilot scheme tested where ALL parking restrictions are removed other than on busy roads, so there are NO traffic wardens – and just see what happens to the traffic flow.
There are also hundreds, literally, of areas in London where the last government have blocked off roads. The reason London is so congested is because everyone uses the same roads to get around. I have noticed especially in Hackney and Clapton areas, loads and loads of back streets, there are either bollards blocking cutting through to a big road, or worse – a big gate marked 'emergency access only'.
What would happen if an ambulance came that way with your son or daughter or mum or dad, and found this gate? Does it open magically for them? of course not…. so what on earth did the last government spend all of this money on, how has it benefitted anyone, how much money was wasted??? can they be removed? I think they should be and things can get back to how they were.
My final point is about the smart cars that drive around with cameras on them. I find this more offensive and violating our civil liberties more than anything else mentioned above. They are creating a total big brother society, the people in them do it just because its 'a job' – (I asked them) – and it just gives the impression the local council are out to f**k over their residents at every opportunity. That's not a good impression and I would like them to be decommissioned, immediately.
Why is this idea important?
My ideas are important because with things how they are, it makes that aspect of living in London very oppressive. I feel that my local authority is trying to make money out of me and my visitors and everyone at EVERY opportunity, and dishonestly, by catching people out, preying on them when they are busy or going about their business doing nothing wrong.
We are penalised for doing nothing wrong, only violating some unnecessary rule that should never have been allowed to be made. Its the same as me putting up a sign saying it costs £10 to walk over the pavement in front of my house. I could try to charge that but no-one would pay it. But if I enforced a scheme where people could get arrested (akin to having their cars towed for non payment of these fines) for not paying it maybe they would.
Its like the last government was testing their public to see how much they could get away with, imposing more and more restrictions that they had no right to do. I want to see this stopped and more respect given to residents and the public.