Thursday, July 21, 2005

Car Parking problems...

Morley has the benefit of free parking in the Town Centre, the signs on the approach roads advise us that we are a historic market town with 1020 parking spaces. The sign always struck me as a bit misleading. We are historic, in that we have a couple of listed buildings and a conservation area of mostly late 19th Century stock, a lot of which is unremarkable. We do indeed have an indoor market but it isn't like the Halifax Piece Hall or the sort of thing you see in a market town, it is stalls selling assorted stuff but comparatively unremarkable. We may well have 1020 free spaces but I can't be bothered to count them. I did see a conservation map recently that showed how many spaces there were and I rather sadly did add up the numbers to see if they came to 1020 (which they did).

Our biggest car park is next to Morrisons and there has been a bit of a kerfuffle. Policing parking misbehaviour has recently moved from traffic wardens (the mustard men) to the local authority. It seems that Leeds City Council has been going round and putting tickets on cars improperly parked and the improper parkers are up in arms about it. They have lobbied Cllr Finnigan who is trying to arrange an amnesty for them. Where the ambiguity comes is that there is this stonking great big church in the middle of the car park and some of the sides are not clearly marked as no parking. However, anyone parking in most of the spaces around it are making it more difficult for the people who do park in the proper bays. Indeed, on a Saturday, a minority of selfish motorists are perfectly happy to invent bays at the end of rows, park on grass verges, double yellows etc. That then knackers up traffic flow through the area, as well as making some spaces a right pig to get into and out of.

There are lots of letters on the subject in this week's Obtiser and the anti-parkers outweigh the pros, both in style and substance. One writer points out that another smaller car park is much more of a problem and that should be focussed on instead.

Sod the amnesty. If someone feels they have a case, let them appeal. Having got away with it for years is not a reasonable excuse. Nor is the fact that everyone else does it. People have done it because it hasn't previously been policed enough. As an alternative to the £30 fine, they could have an hour in the stocks with wet sponges thrown at them which would be much more entertaining than playing giant chess.

Something else I'd like to see is giant A4 stickers saying "I am a selfish Bastard" that other annoyed motorists could stick on the windscreen of offenders, much like the "you have been clamped" warning signs. They should have special glue so that they don't peel off easily without a scraper and they stain the glass slightly with the IASB mantra for several weeks even after being attacked by a scraper. The police would ask us not to take the law into our own hands, but lets face it, they aren't going to do anything...

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