Unfair parking in Guildford
5th August 2009
... Comments

Have you just noticed how most people just accept stuff? Or maybe they have a quick moan but that's it? I've never been like that and whilst it means I get frustrated and angry at the little injusticies of the world, I like to think that one day it might make a difference.

Were there parking permits in Guildford's residential roads 10 or 15 years ago? No, of course there weren't. Were there fewer cars around then? Nope, so why are we forced to pay to park outside (and we're lucky if we get a spot) our own houses which we have already paid a massive premium to live in?

If you email the folks at the Guildford parking office, they won't admit that fines and permits are a massive fund raiser for the council but I have an insider at GBC who tells me differently. Anyway I accept that this is now how it works. We buy a car, we tax it then we pay for a house and then have to pay to park outside it. That's town centre living from now on.

What I don't get is that there is no discretion any more. I have a permit and have done since I moved to Guildford two years ago, the wardens, none of which have any charm training, ALL know my car and where I live. Yet every Saturday morning, I watch them come towards my house but stay as far out of site whilst they wait the 5 minutes before slapping a ticket on my windscreen. The reason they do this is because, invariably, my car is on the single yellow line outside my house. It is there because there is NEVER anywhere to park on a Friday evening. The reason for this is that too many permits are sold for too few parking spaces. 

If, fines are issued for the good of motorists and permit payers, why don't the wardens knock on my door and give me the heads up? Why hide? 

GBC issue a permit for various zoned areas. We live in Zone A which covers easily half a mile of residential roads. Their arguement is that I should find a spot somewhere in Zone A if I cannot park outside my house. The fact that I cannot find a spot in any of the immediate roads should indicate a problem, but they seriously think that I should pay for a permit which means I have to settle for a space up to half a mile away with a car full of shopping and a 10 month baby! It is so unreasonable and if I treated my customers like that I'd never make a penny.

I have sent countless emails to the parking office asking for some of the uneccesary yellow lines to be removed to make way for more legitimate spaces but am met with the same beaurocratic, institutionalised responses everytime.

They tell me that the lines are there to control 'speed and flow of traffic'....I live 20 yards away from a cul de sac, there is very little flow and virually no speed! I've asked them to come up and have a look (a mere 5 minute stroll from the parking office) and again get greeted by the same rhetorical custard pie.

I reported a warden for littering and after 6 months of pursuing the complaint was told that the warden in question had denied it! Case closed it would seem. I cannot think of a more unjust system which treats customers with such disdain and allows them no right of reply.

And yet, the vast majority of people will simply put up and shut up.

About the Author

James F

Member since: 5th August 2009

I run Dial Media Group in Shalford, a web design and hosting business serving local and national companies large and small.

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