So I went into the local dive of a town to bring them their first bit of custom in months. The business? Flooring. We have used them in the past and they offer an excellent service and a good price. BUT they are based in a shopping parade that has the worst private parking system in England. If it hasn’t been on one of those rogue clamping TV programmes yet then it will be soon.
A few years ago the council, in its infinite wisdom, decided to sell the parking area of a town centre shopping parade to a private company. This company now charges for every 20 minutes you are parked. So loading, collecting, dropping off is a nightmare. Most people park in the council’s free car park 5 minutes walk down the road. But when you have to lug a heavy item 5 minutes down the road, it is better just to park outside. This is what I thought to my detriment.
I had to return 5 books of flooring samples and I couldn’t carry them plus baby and buggy from the council’s free car park. A I knew it would only take me 30 seconds to swing in, drop the flooring samples off and then drive off again with my baby boy still in the car, I thought I would be OK. I considered the 20 minute parking ticket but came to the reasonable conclusion that in the time it would take me to buy a ticket, I could have dropped the samples off and driven away. No such luck. A car parking attendant was waiting to swoop as soon as I set foot in the shop and when I turned round to leave, I saw him entering my car details into his vile machine – It had only been 30 seconds. I appealed to the attendant and the shopkeeper and explained that I had my baby in tow and the floor books were heavy and I was only going to be a minute maximum. The attendant insisted I bought a ticket otherwise he was going to process a fine. So, I gave him the money for a 20 minute ticket and he went to the machine and got a ticket for me and then handed it to me before I drove off. I do not understand what he was trying to achieve with this charade. I said to him that his attitude will prevent people from shopping in the area but he doesn’t care he is just following orders from the top – whoever the top is.
This approach is so unreasonable it is bordering on fascism and for this reason I will take my custom to another town until the shopping parade is released from senseless parking prohibitions. It is fair to say that for decades the town has failed to prosper, with retail units closing and little on offer in the town to keep people returning. The parking issue is adding insult to injury. That’s my rant over – just highlighting another totally bananas system in this country.
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Thanks for reading.