NIO to clamp down on bad parking…

MESSAGE to John Spellar MP: We can live with water charges, you can get rid of the 11-Plus, you can close all the railways – but for God’s sake do NOT privatise traffic wardens!

Clamping is not something the car happy people of Norn Iron will take lying down, as they have in other parts of the UK, and this is obviously part of the great conspiracy by Labour to annoy/rip us off/irritate us back into devolution again, I can just tell…

Although traffic wardens are attached to the police here, they were never really a target throughout the ‘Troubles’. Why start now(although they would be privately run, and so could more easily attract cross-community hatred)?! Or is this merely another cunning cost-cutting measure to compensate for the lack of resources provided to the PSNI?

So I guess my message to John Spellar is: “As drivers, we all detest traffic wardens, but we hate clampers more. We will fight them in the parking bays. We will fight them on the single yellow lines. We will even fight them when we are parked less than 15 feet from a street corner and possibly obscuring the view of right-turning traffic.

“And if all else fails, I suppose we will grudgingly pay the damn £90 to get home on that inevitable rainy night when we first get clamped by some over-zealous jobsworth on a power trip.”

This is going to be as big as revenue-raising speed cameras.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Traffic wardens to be privatised, Murphy meets Shoukri; Mc Donald and Mc Farland. Is this just a terrible coincidence.

  • Davros

    Pat – It’s all a bad dream. Kerry will step out of the shower as President of the USA.

  • ulsterman

    Two things. If you dont illegally park you wont get clamped. Secondly speed cameras have reduced the death toll where they have been placed. There is no call to speed.

    Keep within the law and it wont affect you.

    God Save The Queen.

  • Occasional Commenter

    This is a little off topic, but I was wondering what everyone thinks of those who put traffic cones at the side of the road thinking that they are allowed to reserve a parking space for themselves?

    I don’t like it and remove the cones, unless of course they are supposed to be there for roadworks or whatever.

  • willowfield

    Agree about the cones.

    Those people in the Markets were also a disgrace intimidating people from parking on public roads.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Pat

    Funny, I was thinking that myself.

  • George

    One reason Dundalk introduced clamping was because our northern brethren had a habit of parking illegally and not paying their subsequent ticket fines. It worked in this instance.

    As for cones, a disgrace. Get a driveway.

  • Davros

    Residents Parking Schemes ?

    They can work well providing the Councils don’t regard them as a cash crop.

  • The Devil

    Does that mean the “Agreement” will be clamped

    cos it seems to me that it has been parked for an awful long time 🙂

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    While the problem of cones can be annoying I would ask people to understand the predicament of people who live in areas like the Markets.
    In most cases building a driveway is not an option the streets and houses are too small. I know somw people who have converted what garden they have into a drive but that only exacerbates the problem.
    If they are not out early enough city centre workers see no problem in parking in front of their gates and in effect blocking them in all day.
    Also I know people who park their cars outside their own homes and while they drive their kids to school come back to find cars from outside the area parked outside their homes. Given that all parking space in the immediate area is taken they are forced to park some considerable distances from their homes.
    Also such traffic congestion in narrow streeted built up areas can prove a danger to young children in the area.

    Personally the car drivers should realise that they do have some civic responsibility.

  • Davros

    What do you think of a Residents parking scheme then Pat ?

  • willowfield

    Pat

    While the problem of cones can be annoying I would ask people to understand the predicament of people who live in areas like the Markets.
    In most cases building a driveway is not an option the streets and houses are too small. I know somw people who have converted what garden they have into a drive but that only exacerbates the problem. If they are not out early enough city centre workers see no problem in parking in front of their gates and in effect blocking them in all day. Also I know people who park their cars outside their own homes and while they drive their kids to school come back to find cars from outside the area parked outside their homes. Given that all parking space in the immediate area is taken they are forced to park some considerable distances from their homes.
    Also such traffic congestion in narrow streeted built up areas can prove a danger to young children in the area. Personally the car drivers should realise that they do have some civic responsibility.

    If the Markets residents want to stop people parking on the street, then they should lobby to get double or single yellow lines put down. Otherwise it is a public road and open to anyone to park.

    They’re also lucky they have gardens: I don’t have a garden. And I cars park outside my house all day long. I don’t put threatening notes on their windscreen, though.

    And, in any case, the cars aren’t parked outside their homes. They’re parked on that street beside Central Station: there are no houses fronting on to that street.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,
    If it helped solve the problem yes.

    Willowfield,

    “If the Markets residents want to stop people parking on the street, then they should lobby to get double or single yellow lines put down. Otherwise it is a public road and open to anyone to park.”

    Single and double yellow lones would apply to the residents as well. It is a public road and open to anyone. That is what is causing the problems.

    “They’re also lucky they have gardens: I don’t have a garden. And I cars park outside my house all day long. I don’t put threatening notes on their windscreen, though.”

    Some have gardens that are very small and most could not accommodate a car. Good to see you are not threatening people.

    “And, in any case, the cars aren’t parked outside their homes. They’re parked on that street beside Central Station: there are no houses fronting on to that street.”

    Afraid not, they are parked throughout the Markets area. If anything it is that part of the area on the other side of Cromac St around Sussex Place etc that has cars parked outside homes. Why can’t people just use car parks?

  • George

    I’m with Davros on this one (my driveway comment was a bit flippant). My road was full every morning of cars parked by people who then walked into the city centre to work.

    Up came the parking restrictions of €1.80 and hour and, hey presto, now it’s totally clear and my permit costs a mere five euro a year. One car allowed per house.

  • Davros

    five euro a year ????
    Blimey!!!!!

    Edinburgh

    Central area – Zones 1 to 4

    * £160 for 12 months
    * £81 for 6 months
    * £41 for 3 months

    Peripheral area – Zones 5 to 8

    * £80 for 12 months
    * £41 for 6 months
    * £21 for 3 months

    One per house has been controversial.

  • George

    Those prices are scary Davros!
    I must admit I also have a driveway so I’m covered if the city council decides that parking could be a cash cow. 🙂

    More worrying for me is that they’re going to start weighing my bin from the new year when they collect my rubbish and charge me accordingly. I get 42% tax relief on it but still a worrying development.

    I always thought I’d be dragged kicking and screaming to the bottle bank but it looks like financial necessity will mean I’ll meekly shuffle there once a week.

  • Davros

    Tax relief as you run a business from home ?

    We were charged extra by the council in London when I ran a business !

  • George

    Nope Davros,
    everyone who pays their bin charges in the Irish Republic gets full tax relief on the sum. I don’t work from home and from the amount of time I spend here, some would say I barely work at all. 🙂

  • Davros

    That seems like a strange and inefficient system George.

  • George

    In what way Davros?

  • Davros

    It’s a horribly indirect way for Central govt (tax rebates) to partially fund Local government. Why doesn’t the Govt give dosh direct ?

  • George

    Because it will be much harder for them to take it away again I assume and maybe local government can’t be trusted with doing the right thing with the dosh.
    Also the money only goes to those who claim it(in 2001 only 26,976 individuals claimed it) and it only gets paid out if you pay on time and in full.

  • Davros

    ah! so there’s a carrot as well as the stick 🙂

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I’m pretty much with Pat on this one (miracles will never cease).

    However, this announcement is more likely to PREVENT residents’ parking schemes here in the near future than lead to them.

    I know someone has been trying to persuade the authorities to introduce a pilot scheme, and the excuse for not doing so is the cost of policing the scheme, what with the PSNI being strapped for money etc.

    If there is an impending switch to private clampers, why would the PSNI fork out for a pilot if the whole kaboodle is going to be privatised in the future? It will be delayed at least until the Government sets up the GoCo (Govt-owned company) to look after parking matters.

    …sadly.

    Quite how one car per house will work in Belfast, with its countless HMOs (Houses of Multiple Occupancy) is anyone’s guess though.

    And if I had a gate and someone parked across it every day, well, it would be unfortunate were some hooligan to let the air out of the tyres wouldn’t it…? You’d still be trapped, but at least it would be a laugh.

  • willowfield

    I oppose privatisation, but if it leads to more clamping and more fines for illegal parkers, I’m all for it.

  • Davros

    Gonzo- it doesn’t have to be one per house. Loads of HMOs in Edinburgh. All one has to do is prove residency. We could , for example, use the electoral register.

  • willowfield

    No reason why there should be anything other than a nominal cost for residents’ parking schemes.

  • Davros

    There’s a fair bit of expense involved initially WF.
    Work on zoning, surveying, allocation of residents and non-resident spaces, ticket/meter provision for non-residents and loads of road painting and siggns to be erected.

  • willowfield

    True, but once that’s done it’s a relatively cheap administrative exercise.