Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Wednesday, 17 August 2016
It wasn't even good while it lasted
Here in Central Bath, we have invisible 'Bus Gates' which add another 1.5 miles onto my journey if I want to park outside my house for any reason, and if I go through them during working hours, I get heavilly fined.
Only heavy and destructive busses are allowed to pass over Pulteney Bridge these days, so avoiding the penalty cameras adds to the mileage. It is quite possible to clock up £140 in fines (if they are not paid in 14 days) in the space of 200 yards where I live. In fact, tourists and strangers to the city add to the civic coffers by doing this every few minutes, every day of the week.
Not that I am allowed to park outside, and when I am picking up or dropping off, I have to keep a keen eye out for wardens in order not to have to pay another £70 to the council.
I have 'Central Zone' parking permit (£100 per year) which allows me to park almost anywhere except outside my own house. I can park in the Royal Crescent 24 hours a day for 365 days a year if I wanted to, but short of wanting to piss off Bath's most expensive hotel, I have no reason to do so.
I looked out of the window late last week and saw that they were creating a massive Central Zone Resident's parking bay right outside, by burning off the yellow line and putting a white box in its place. I started to make plans about this new opportunity to legally park outside, trying to figure out a way of getting in and out of the zone without clocking-up the aforementioned penalties.
At the very least, I thought, I could take my time when off-loading heavy stuff which I could not comfortably carry down the street, and this would be handy in December for when I load up the car for H.I.'s exhibition.
On Monday morning, at about 7.30 am, I looked out of the window again to see that the entire new bay had been filled up with builder's vans and other commercial vehicles which obviously had planned to stay there all day. The ordinary wardens were walking past them without issuing fixed penalty tickets, so this bay seemed to have been created as a sneaky way to allow non-authorised vehicles to park on something other than a yeallow line without incurring penalties.
Now what, I thought? Maybe I should just give in and just forget the whole business on the grounds that a rarely-used parking spot outside my house would be a valuable waste of resources for people who needed it more than I did.
Well I can now truly forget the whole thing, because - at about 6.00am this morning - they took down the sign, burned off the white box lines and repainted the single yellow line.
It took a few thousand pounds of council money, but reason was very quickly resumed. I wonder how much thought the planners gave to this short-lived scheme?!