Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Can we have proper traffic "Wardens" back....

And the most popular rant of all on early Tonbridge Blog, back in winter 2006, was without doubt on the subject of Traffic Wardens (ooooh don't get me started!!) Of course the story has moved on because they are now called "Civil Enforcement Officers" which really is a joke! Anyway here's that early posting:

Now no one is claiming that the old style proper Traffic Wardens were the most popular public servants in the world. But at least they weren't the leeches that the latest "Parking Attendants" have become! Only this morning I witnessed an "attendant" booking a car with children inside at the layby at the top of Tonbridge High Street. Had the occupant gone into a bar for an early morning shot of alcohol? or maybe the bookies to fuel her gambling habit? No, she had nipped into a charity shop to drop some clothes off! Her reward for this concern for fellow humans? A £30 parking fine! In the last week I've seen a motor scooter booked (that has to be a first, where do you even put the ticket?) for momentarily parking on the wide pavement at the corner of Bank Street; I've seen a car with a ticket slapped on it outside Slade School, parked for around two minutes because they were a little late taking the kids in that morning. There must be countless other cases of ladies being ten minutes late back to the car park for the crime of lingering over a coffee; or men trying on one more jumper in Beales and loosing track of the time. These parasite "attendants" patrol the streets like neo-fascists, proudly wearing their military-style uniforms; what is it with someone who wears a uniform when they don't have the experience, the training, or any real authority! It really does go to that part of their heads that brings out the ugly side of them. Proper "Traffic Wardens" were not popular but at least they had the proper authority of the police behind them, and therefore limited police powers to move traffic on and keep the pavements and the roads flowing. They were, in effect, a kind of community police officer, with a primary focus on traffic duties, but also with a limited amount of other police powers, and a duty to serve the community. Moreover they had a certain amount of presence and respect. Traffic "attendants" have nothing but a high tech booking pad and about as much respect from the public as a burglar; often they have only about as much integrity and tact.
They are draining the life blood out of Tonbridge (and this town is not alone); they discourage shoppers, they are over zealous, they have no real purpose other than to raise money for the local council. Traders don't want them, shoppers don't want them, I doubt whether the police want them. In a nut shell get rid of them and bring back proper wardens.....
What do you think?? Have you say by clicking on the comments link below....

13 comments:

Tonbridge blogger said...

It's actually very easy to leave a comment on this site, you just set up an account and away you go. You also know that it's Google and completely secure. Go on give it a try, get something off yer chest....

TonbridgeR said...

I detest the traffic wardens in Tonbridge and as I have posted previously I have witnessed one little uniformed Hitler - (you know who you are)- giving a parking ticket to a car in a disabled bay, outside the owner's own house. The warden knew very well that this person DID have the correct paper work and badges as he had in the last 10 months issued three previous tickets to the very same vehicle. On this occasion I myself challenged the warden who was arrogant and pig headed and told me that the badge wasn't displayed. I asked why he didn't just knock on the door in the spirit of community and warn the car's owner. His reply was that rules are rules and he issued the ticket. This warden knows the road and occupants very well, and we found out later that the badge had actually dropped onto the car floor as the severely disabled person had somehow knocked it whilst alighting from the vehicle.
Needless to say after going through the necessary red tape the ticket was cancelled, as it had been on previous occasions. Beats me!!! It is just pathetic. But so is life today.

The Tomahawk Kid said...

Tonbridge & Malling Council seriously need to review the parking situation in Tonbridge. I won't even start to comment about the Traffic Wardens, but I agree wholeheartedly with the comments of others.

What annoys me, as an employer, is how poor the parking is for people who actually work in Tonbridge - providing jobs in the town and helping to boost the economy. I know you can get business permits, which last time of checking were about £100 a year, but you can only get these for certain areas. If you are based in the old town these are unavailable and if you have a business address in this area you can't get one. So what's the alternative: use the public car parks, many of which you can't get season tickets for (or they are very limited in number).

Tonbridge is in need of a major boost in the town centre as we all know, so making it tough for businesses and for shoppers is just plain daft. I would be interested to see what would happen if there was an experiment to try free parking for a period. Of course this will never happen because the Council are too short-sighted and make vast amounts of money from parking (they could make more money from business rates if the boosted the town centre economy though!).

Hopefully someone at the Council involved in parking reads this blog and can try and explain the Councils logic on its parking policy.

Paul Bailey said...

Couldn't agree more. The purpose of the old-style traffic wardens was to keep the traffic moving and not indulge in a purely revenue collecting exercise. The cobbled "parking bays", on both sides of the High Street are surely designed for people to pull in briefly whilst nipping into the banks, or picking up a prescription from CLarke & Colemans. People using these bays are NOT impeding the flow of traffic.

Why is it then these uniformed little Hitlers wait around these bays ready to pounce on unsuspecting motorists who going about their lawful business and not causing any obstruction? To my mind this is tantamount to entrapment.

One evening,a couple of weeks before Christmas, whilst returning to our car in Lidl's car park, my son and I witnessed an angry confrontation between a traffic warden and a group of taxi drivers who were queuing, as usual, in Waterloo Road to join the taxi rank. Not content with penalising shop owners and their customers, these council jobs-worths are now trying to drive the town's taxi drivers out of business.

As council tax payers we should demand a say in how these tin-pot Noddies operate. Their job should be to serve the local community, rather than finding ways of screwing as much money out of them as they can.

petrolstationvillage said...

Why don't the anti-social motorists just follow the rules? It is quite simple, don't park on a Double Yellow Line. These motorists go on the double yellow lines, blocking the High Street, as they pop into an ATM or they stop on the double yellow line by the WCs in Castle Street blocking the buses. They seem blissfully unaware that they're creating a hazard. If there is a 'little Hitler' around, I'd go and find 'im! (We must stop meeting like this...)

However, if a ticket falls off, it could mean there is a problem with the ticket glue and maybe it is worth appealing.

petrolstationvillage said...

On a completely new subject, has anyone recommended the New Year People in the Courier this week? I have never heard of them. I thought loads of Tonbridge people would write in supporting them having an Honour, but I spoke to several people and they have never heard of them either. I think I am more like to recommended a local shop assistant than someone in big business, that has nothing to do with Tonbridge. How many letters does it take for someone to get an Honour? Maybe we can send a letter each, we can get Tonbridge Blog for his service to Tonbridge? Maybe these people had 100 letter and we just needs a few more to get T Blog in. It is just odd, that I have lived here for donkeys years, that I have never heard of them.

petrolstationvillage said...

More employers should have cycle racks in Tonbridge. I don't know why they don't bother, even though the Government gives tax free incentives if employees buy a bike and it helps their employees to be on time to work and doesn't clutter the car park. I managed to get my employers to get some, after a battle. They are still there today! Employers ought to have a place for them to store bikes too.

petrolstationvillage said...

I read in the courier the other week that some of the taxi drivers were using the Lidl car park.

petrolstationvillage said...

This is getting very heated. Your blog may soon have to be moderated!

TonbridgeR said...

And here we are in 2009 and still those evil traffic wardens are creating the most comments.

Paul Bailey said...

To Mr petrolstation, or should I call you the Traffic Warden's Friend?, I specifically said in my article that the people who use these pull-ins (outside the Nat West Bank, and also opposite outside Barclays)are NOT causing an obstruction. Technically they are breaking the law if there are parking on double yellow lines, but the question needs to be asked as to why parking restrictions apply here in the first place. If people are not suppopsed to park, albeit briefly, in these bays then what is the point of such pull-ins in the first place?

As I said in my original comment, anyone using these bays is an easy target for traffic wardens.

If people ARE causing a genuine obstruction then of course they should be penalised, but when they are not and the whole thing is just a revenue collecting exercise is it any wonder that these uniformed Noddies are amongst the most hated people in Tonbridge!

petrolstationvillage said...

To Paul. Yes, it doesn't make sense if 'motorists are being law abiding' and using pull ins but they ought to concentrate on the 'Car Park' at the ATM near W S Smith. If the motorist is law abiding, surely they'd appeal and be let off? Isn't there a sign by it that the motorist can point to the Traffic Warden? Is there a time limit for these pull ins?

From 'Miss'

Traffic Warden's Friend when being he is being lawful

petrolstationvillage said...

Anti-Social motorists should be even more hated than traffic wardens as they cause accidents.