Saturday, 28 July 2012

Olympic Parking : The ill begotten saga continues!

The Olympic Opening Ceremony took place yesterday ... and I must admit that I was very impressed. I think that Danny Boyle and his team produced something that reflected the essence of what it is to be British.

I only wish that the people who were organising the Olympic parking were half as good!

On Thursday morning a new set of signs appeared on the lamp post opposite my house. They informed me that the new parking restrictions were now in force, and that if my car did not have a valid parking permit on display and I was parked for more than two hours, my car could be towed away.


Simple, precise, and easy to understand ...

This morning (Saturday), two days after the new parking restrictions came into force, I received a letter from LOCOG informing me that the parking permits I had been issued with were invalid, and that a new parking permit was enclosed. Furthermore the letter stated (in bold type) that 'The permits you previously received will not be valid during the Games and, if used, could result in a fine or your vehicle being removed.'

No problem, you would have thought ... except that was no parking permit for my wife's car enclosed with the letter! We telephoned the 'Help' line number ... and they told us that the new permit for my wife's car should be in the post, but that in the interim we should display a code number underneath the existing (invalid) parking permit.

This all sounds very inefficient ... but it gets worse when you realise that if we had not received the letter this morning we would not have known that our original parking permits were no longer valid!

There is an expression in English that goes something along the lines that 'this lot could not organise a p*ss-up in a brewery.' I would go futher in the particular case to add that I don't think that this lot could even find the brewery!

10 comments:

  1. There's a similar expression in 'Scots' which I will not repeat here!

    Hope you and your wife don't get caught out Bob!

    Jim

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  2. But Bob, don't you realise the whole point is to confuse and cause people to park illegally so that the council/clamping firm/whoever can rake in the cash?

    The last thing they want is for everyone to park legally - that would be a financial disaster.

    Merton Council recently refused to overturn a ticket issued to a woman who had paid and displayed, but her display ticket curled up due to the poor quality paper whereof it was made, so was impossible to read. Warden correctly issued a ticket as he could not check it was valid.

    When she appealed to Council, producing the display ticket to prove that she had paid, so they had suffered no loss, the Council refused to withdraw the ticket on the legal technicality that she had failed to 'display' it satisfactorily.

    She dares not appeal, as that will put her beyond time limit to get 50% reduction - no doubt the idea all along. The Council has had bad press in front page atories in all local papers, but prefers to trouser £60 rather than act justly and gain some credibility in citizens' eyes.

    The conclusion is obvious - all they want is the money!

    Arthur

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  3. Jim Duncan,

    I have a feeling that there is a similar expression in most languages!

    I certainly don't intend to get caught (I already have my new parking permit fixed to my car's windscreen) and we are taking steps to make sure that my wife's car is safe as well.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  4. Arthur1815,

    You might think that, but I couldn't possible comment (I still have a possible contract in the offing with the local council!).

    I read about the situation in Merton ... and it only goes to show how little common sense seems to be in use in the UK's increasingly bureaucratic society.

    Over the past few years I have had two parking tickets issued against me. One for parking in a ‘pay at the meter’ bay at 6.29pm when it did not become ‘free’ until 6.30pm (my watch said it was 6.32pm when I parked but the ticket had an automatic time stamp on it so I had not right of appeal) and one because my one of my car tires was deemed to be over the white line of the parking bay … by less than an inch! I had no redress there either.

    The most annoying ticket I received was for driving in a bus lane that I had not realised was a bus lane! It is in Camberwell New Road, and I understand that it has netted the authorities over £2,000,000 in fines in a year. There is a bus lane that it ends at a pedestrian crossing, and it is followed by a bus stop. I entered the bus stop area not realising that it was part of the bus lane. When you see the road with very little traffic on it, the bus lane is obvious, but during the ‘rush hour’ the presence of other vehicles can easily obscure the solid white line that indicates the presence of a bus lane. It appears that there is no obligation for there to be a warning sign that the bus lane recommences, so lots of people get caught (and fined) every year.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. Interesting to see the white sign displaying good fieldcraft by making use of natural camoflage...

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  6. Tim Gow,

    If I were paranoid (and I may well be!) I might think that the sign had been deliberately fixed so that a particular part of the text was obscured.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. Frankly speaking I'm soooo happy that the games were not granted to Madrid... Thank you London

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  8. Anibal Invictus,

    I am pleased that London got the games; I just wish that the organisers had not made everything so bureaucratic and also bent over backwards to accommodate the official sponsors. For example you cannot take more than 100ml of any fluid (including water) into an Olympic venue. If you are thirsty you have to buy what is on sale inside … and that is only supplied by an official sponsor.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. The tickets fiasco put us off. Applied for loads, twice, got none because they were all gone, now looking at all the empty seats at all the swimming events we applied for. Should be called the Sponsors Games, not the Olympic Games.

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  10. Xaltotun of Python,

    When LOCOG gets things wrong, it gets them VERY wrong! It makes the TV series Twenty Twelve look more and more like a documentary and less and less like a comedy.

    I understand that some tickets for some events will be made available for sale ... but only via special booths within the Olympic Park.

    I am sure that this makes sense to someone ... but I am not sure who that someone is.

    All the best,

    Bob

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