Tuesday, 17 March 2009

A challenge

I am in love.

I feel helpless, I feel alone.

I have to appeal against a parking fine I paid at the start of February for a parking ticket I received in January.

I lost the parking ticket, it became lost. Time passed and the fine discount period passed and I was liable to pay £120, so I paid it.

Now I am to postpone my job hunting and the torturous process of application form filling, and I am to appeal against the parking ticket.

I have stared at the the fourth page of the online "Challenge a parking or traffic penalty" form for three hours now. I think I got this far back once in January and once in February.

Loved ones have urged me, the fine is unfair and unjust, I should never have paid it.

I have stared at page four of the online "Challenge a parking or traffic penalty" form for three hours now for three hours.
I am currently unemployed, living of my Job Seekers Allowance and could really do with the money I previously paid for the fine.
I was in possession of a valid parking permit when ticket was issued.
Was not aware of parking suspension when ticket was issued or notice of the parking suspension in the days before the ticket was issued.
Ticket may have been issued at 10:00am but time on ticket was 8:01am.

A small lie. I have not been staring at the screen, at the form for three hours. During that time I have unravelled the hat I've been knitting all day in a fit of proxy self-abuse. I have also discovered that the great herds of traffic wardens I see round my neighbourhood every day are actually employees of NCP ltd, sub-contracted to Camden Council. NCP wardens have had their bonuses based on how many tickets they issue, and the council supplies targets for numbers of tickets they want issued. Also the Interim Parking Manager for Camden Council was sacked in December and its incredibly difficult to find out online if they have appointed a new one, I suspect its possible that the parking department has no manager and is a shit place to work. Also, revenue from parking fines in Camden is down £4,000,000 and council bosses are searching for 'quick wins' to make up the shortfall.

How could I remove all parking restrictions in Camden?
  • Do I need to get elected to the council and then propose some kind of legislation on the matter and win a vote?
  • Or do I work for the council become the Parking Manager, and just do it as part of a new policy to restore Camden to the people who live there?
  • Or, controversially perhaps, do I walk into the town hall every morning at about 10:08am and hit a fire alarm, and then again every afternoon at about 2:17pm?
  • Would putting NCP Ltd out of business help?
Another thing that occurs to me... The standard fine is £120, but you get a 50% discount if you pay withing 14 days. This fine is the same regardless of the size of the vehicle, unlike the parking permit which is dependent on engine size. £70 for engines up to 1299cc, ranging to £145 for engines over 2450cc. So the cost of the permit is proportionate, but the cost of the fine is disproportionate. I wonder if that will stand up in court.

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