Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Car Park Wars

Dear Reader, 

After a long silence which may or not be explained at a later date, I am compelled once again to discuss an irritant in my life, or more specifically in the Dear Lady Wife's (from this point forward DLW's) life. 

So, every day we are currently commuting from our local train station as work requires, leaving our cars in the station car park to be collected for the journey home. This does not always happen. Alcohol has been known to disrupt these best-laid plans, meaning cars holiday overnight in the station car park. This in itself does not pose a problem. A problem arises when next morning, in the mad rush to make the appropriate* train, there simply isn't enough time to renew the ticket on the car. 

*Appropriate - in these circumstances has to tick the following boxes...

  • Leaves at such a time to allow a longer lay-in than we intended
  • But not so much later that many eyebrows are raised at our respective places of work
It's a fine balance, anyhoo...

That evening, if we are unlucky, the dreaded yellow and black sticky envelope will be attached to the windscreen. A ticket, a fine and much grumbling about the unfairness of the world. No amount of grumbling makes up for the fact that the ticket, no matter how irritating, is fair.

OK, fair cop this time.

There are times when it does not seem fair. There have been times when we have both committed the same offence, in the same car park at the same time, but the DLW has got a ticket on her car, whilst I have not got one on mine. DLW calls this victimisation, I call it Karma, it's all about the viewpoint I suppose.

Then there are the times when it really isn't fair, such as now. On Monday, the DLW purchased a weekly parking ticket, which results in a ticket and a dated receipt dispensed on two small pieces of paper. On Monday evening, the DLW collects the car, it is warm and the air conditioning is about as effective as three asthmatic hamsters with hay-fever wheezing at you from the dashboard. Windows are opened and the journey home begins. A breeze picks up the parking ticket and blows it out of the window in transit, not a problem, the DLW still has the receipt. 

Tuesday comes, the DLW returns to the station car park, displaying the receipt for the weekly ticket (containing full details of date and time purchased and amount paid - DLW is dictating this bit to me), in the windscreen. 
Tuesday night comes. Ticket! 
Wednesday night comes. Ticket!

What is highly annoying about this is that in an effort to dispel any attempt at unjustified dispute, the warden of the car park company takes three photos of the dashboard, left, right and centre to make it clear that a ticket has not been displayed. So, for the last two days they have photographed DLW's proof of purchase and still issued tickets.

Tomorrow shall be different. This is a vendetta against DLW. She is waging a WAR OF JUSTICE (by leaving notes and underlining words rather than actual killing), but even so, it is a noble war and a people's war. Let them issue a ticket, let them take their photos. What they will be photographing is this...

Damn them

This is a social experiment. Will the evil attendant blindly ignore this clear evidence of purchase and plaster another ticket on the car? Note that in doing so the attendant will have to photograph this evidence and store it on the car park operators website. Will common sense prevail?

We have written a complaint to the car park operator, who, for the moment, shall remain *APCOA*  nameless. Damn this stupid computer. I thought I had sorted the "don't insert what I think, just what I type" issue last week. The letter is yet to be posted as we are waiting to see what happens tomorrow. There may be more miscarriages of justice to pursue. 

I will be back with an update soon Dear Reader.



  1. If it is a private company I suggest you ignore them. I parked on a car park bought a ticket. Went home and binned said ticket. 6 weeks later get a letter saying I parked without a ticket and a fine of £150 (reduced to £75 if I paid early). Given the ticket was £2 seems a tad excessive. So I have ignored them. I have received more letters and legal costs mean I now owe £265 apparently and they are going to take me to court in 14 days or at least they were 3 months ago. All quiet since. They just like to scare people into paying. Google for loads of advice from others on what they have done.

  2. @Gareth: Thank you so much, amazing advice. The weekly ticket that my DLW bought cost 26GBP. To buy a daily ticket cost 5GBP. The DLW got two tickets on consecutive days which would have cost a total of 10GBP and now has a fine of 150GBP. Excessive if she did not have a ticket, even more outrageous because she had proof of purchase. Not taking this daylight robbery lying down. Will keep you posted. The ignoring strategy may be an option.


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