If this image doesn’t shock you it’s because you’ve become accustomed to the merciless parking fines that are becoming increasingly commonplace. These days wardens are just looking for their next juicy commission like it’s a large-scale Easter egg hunt – a car two centimetres short of confining itself within a space, two minutes overspent or even, more shockingly, one of those old person buggies resting innocently on a quiet side-street. The object of this daily bullying of motorists has progressed far from keeping streets safe and accessible and now seems to fund a large proportion of the council. Have you ever returned to an unwelcome black and yellow striped slice of unhappiness slapped onto your windscreen? Thirty-five pounds is the lightest you’ll get off and if the buggers have clamped your car you’d call anything under £200 a bargain. Besides which, the chances of this vehicle’s position being the sole cause of large-scale congestion problems and pavement riots is about as likely as it zooming down the M1.
Irritatingly, the law is right behind these eagle-eyed lowlifes and more often than not when trying to argue it out over a freshly issued fine you’ll be faced with the standard “There’s nothing I can do, the ticket has gone through” response. It seems the antichrist wardens purposefully target areas where the machine is out of order – cue image of foliage-obscured warden sporting binoculars. A parking ticket for the fit and healthy is bad enough but in my opinion, picking on the elderly is stooping too low. Doesn’t the system spare a single thought for the poor unsuspecting pensioner that has to pay a fine heavier than the cost of his 5-mile-an-hour-vehicle from his measly weekly allowance? It’s not far short of inhumane and if they stopped being so petty in their ruthless cash-leeching scheme and put their ill-spent time into more valuable endeavours –answering phones for Student Finance say – everybody would be a lot happier!