Some years ago the enlightened councillors of High Peak Borough Council introduced free parking for residents of the area for certain periods of the day. So up until 10.00am and after 4.00pm Monday to Saturday you can park, subject to certain restricted areas, free of charge and free of the fear of the dreaded Parking Enforcement Officers (bloody traffic wardens), in their nasty green uniforms. Or so I thought. However yesterday having left the car in the Crescent at 9.30am I took advantage of the free half hour left to me to go and have a chat with my bank about my careless and at times reckless attitude to their money. Chastened and a little bit poorer I emerged 25 minutes later just in time to get back to the car before the clock struck ten and all the PEO’s could star persecuting me. So imagine my surprise to find sitting perched just above my residents parking permit, a nasty hazardous yellow plastic bag containing a parking ticket and fine for £50. The fine was timed at 9.56am. My first was to chuck the wretched thing away. But sense prevailed and I sat down to read the wretched thing properly. The alleged offence had taken place between 9.51 and 9.56am. Now unless I am suffering from a nasty blow to the head, these times are before 10.00am and therefore as a resident, displaying a valid residents parking permit, I was entitled to be there without displaying a valid parking ticket. How the wretched little man (or woman) missed it is beyond me as it sits just above the tax disc, and this had been checked and the number noted on the form. Eventually after a lot of searching I found out how to appeal and an hour later sent via the website of the company responsible for enforcing the High Peaks parking fines, a very reasonable worded explanation as why I was not going to pay the fine. I await their response with interest.
Of course its the waiting that really "does my head in". Every time I turn on my e-mail now I half expect a reply from some bored youth on work experience explaining to me why even though I am the possessor of a residents parking permit, a valid residents parking permit, the half wit that issued the ticket was unable to read and therefore did not see it. Accordingly it will be deemed not to have been displayed properly. Of course it will be my word against theirs and as by that stage the only words I will be able to utter will be of an Anglo Saxon origin, I will lose and have to pay £10,000, have my house, children and wife confiscated and be sent to live in a high rise flat. And anyway I expect there is CCTV footage of me at the moment I discovered that I had a ticket. Not for the sensitive and those of a delicate disposition.
Well it Friday, the first bottle of wine is open, and in a minute Mrs BW will stop watching the X factor on TV and I can go down stairs. It must be grim though because the dog is barking.
Bloody Traffic Wardens!