Parking Piracy - The Pavement Parking Ban

The Age Of The Parking Pirates

How Bexley Council have exploited the difficulties they have created for us with the pavement parking ban, which often prevents people doing the sensible thing, and which some people feel was deliberately introduced by this borough for the purpose of sucking more money out of people trying to go about their business.

Trying To Do The Sensible Thing?

The vehicle shown below is parked for the purpose of unloading musical equipment for the night's entertainment in the pub. The pub, which is the Crayford Arms, in Crayford, I have played in many many times over the last twenty years or so. It is situated on a corner of a junction in the high street, which is a busy main road. As can be seen, the pavement is very wide in this location and can easily facilitate pavement parking, especially for the purpose of loading and unloading. As can also be seen, such pavement parking in this location is not causing a problem to anyone using the pavement. Bearing in mind this is a busy through route for vehicles travelling towards Erith, it is by far less dangerous to park as shown than with the vehicle fully on the road. The vehicle is actually parked in the most sensible fashion given the circumstances, loading doors aligned with with the entrance to the pub. Optimum for the the given circumstances. Hazard lights are on and the vehicle is clearly visible to other vehicles and pedestrians alike. Parked in this manner, the vehicle is not obstructing the roadway or the pavement. Bearing in mind it is a busy road, pavement parking here gives just a little more clearance, and causes less obstruction, to vehicles travelling up the hill.

Unbeknown to me, on this occasion a traffic warden was hiding round the corner probably behind a lampost, patiently waiting, while I unloaded the equipment, for her opportunity to pounce. She didn't make herself known and didn't communicate with me about the situation. In fact she sneakily waited until I had gone into the pub with the last of the equipment and then seized her opportunity to quickly run round, plant the already prepared ticket, and photograph the van. I came back out of the pub to move the vehicle as she was taking the last of the photos. She was noticably shocked that I had returned and caught her in the act. The ticket, which she had prepared covertly whilst she was hiding round the corner, had already been stuck to the windscreen. She said the ticket was not for the double yellow lines but was issued simply because I was parked on the pavement. I tried explaining that I was parked on the pavement because it was, under the given circumstances, the most sensible thing to do. Pavement very wide, road very busy! However, it made no difference to her as it was just another notch on her lamppost and another £55.00 for the Jolly Rogerers at Bexley Council.

Flying The Jolly Rogerer

Our infrastructure, i.e. the streets and buildings, were mostly all designed and built a long time ago. They were not built with the available foresight that would have enabled us to cater for today's lifestyles and we therefore have to make the best of what we have. It's a compromise. It should not be for those people in positions of responsibilty and authority to abuse the trust we put in them by seeing this as an opportnunity to financially exploit people's difficulties in trying to achieve that compromise by enforcing regulations that are contrary to common sense, safety, and the will of the people that pay their wages!

It is not more dangerous to park on the pavement in this situation, in fact it is less so, both for me and for other vehicles. This vehicle does not contravene any of Bexley Council's criteria as to why they saw fit to introduce the pavement parking ban, as published in their leaflet, which aren't actually valid and which the majority of people don't agree with (see pavement parking arguments for and against).

Images taken by a traffic warden as she ticketed my vehicle whilst unloading equipment at the venue.

We try and go about our business, Bexley Council exploit the difficulties we face!

Showing the location of the venue on the corner and one of the other acts preparing to unload for a gig here

This is what various the bands and discos have to do here to unload their equipment safely and expediently! Prime exploitation potential for Bexley Council who penalise the public against the grain of common sense, the majority public view, safety and fair play!

Having spoken to landlords, past and present, I have been informed that this is a regular hotspot for traffic wardens who target this location because of the kebab shop. People pop in to pick up a kebab and then have to pay £55.00 added tax for the privilege. In fact my ex-wife recently did just that. Yes, it wasn't just the chilli sauce that made her kebab too hot to handle. The present landlord told me that they even ticket the dray lorry when it delivers the beer! In fact ticketing delivery vehicles here and in other difficult to service places such as Bexley Village, seems to now be a policy Bexley Council have adopted! Very helpful!

Considering the layout of roads and pavements that we have inherited, the pavement parking ban is unreasonable and impractical. This has been pointed out to Bexley Council time and time again, and I'm sure they are well aware by now of the frustrations of the public regarding this issue. However, they don't care because it makes lots of money for them! There is no reasoning with them and there is no compromise. They are simply hard nosed and mercenary. Other local authorities, such as Dartford and Bromley, do not impose this law on the public because it is IMPRACTICAL and UNFAIR. This means that visitors from neighbouring boroughs also get caught unawares. Bexley Council have chosen to impose and enforce a blanket rule because it makes money for them. Bexley Council can be at best considered to be wholly unreasonable and at worst to be wholly corrupt!

Crosstalk by Taz...

The Creature