Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

IAM pleased to see that we will soon be al­lowed an ex­tra 10 min­utes af­ter a park­ing ticket runs out, be­fore we can be hit with a fine. A change in the law this month will mean that we can whizz back to our cars – in all on-street and off-street coun­cil park­ing places – know­ing that we won’t be met with a ticket for be­ing a few sec­onds over time. It hap­pens so eas­ily. There is just one more vi­tal task to do, such as buy­ing a birth­day card and stamps, so you pop into Smiths, dash to the till, then … oh no. You skid to a halt be­hind a long, slow, snake of peo­ple.

You have two choices: put your items back on the shelf – or re­sign your­self to the pos­si­bil­ity of a fine.

Peo­ple I want to prod with a big stick are those who pro­duce their purses at the last minute, then buy six hun­dred lot­tery tick­ets.

Or shop­pers just buy­ing a news­pa­per and rub­ber bands, but pon­der long and hard on whether to buy the gi­ant-sized choco­late, which is al­ways on spe­cial of­fer at tills. Don’t they know the Gov­ern­ment has banned us from eat­ing sugar?

My worst story of get­ting a park­ing ticket hap­pened, iron­i­cally, on a day that I was sup­posed to in­ter­view a traf­fic war­den.

That morn­ing I had stubbed my toe on the bed and, as it was at right an­gles to the rest of my foot and Mr F was on his way to work in West­min­ster, I drove my­self to Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal, where they con­firmed it was bro­ken.

Back at the Gazette of­fices, which were then op­po­site the Civic Cen­tre (now the Slug and Let­tuce pub), there were no va­cant spa­ces so I risked park­ing on a yel­low line.

There was no way I could at­tempt a long walk from a multi-storey car park. Sure enough, I got a ticket.

Hob­bling down to Uxbridge Po­lice sta­tion to quiz my traf­fic war­den would have been the ul­ti­mate def­i­ni­tion of adding in­sult to in­jury so I post­poned it, popped a few pain killers and went home to ad­min­is­ter ice (toe and drink).

Later that week my Gazette col­leagues mis­chie­vously re­ported my aw­ful day in the pa­per un­der the head­line Toe-tally Ru­ined.

Email bmail­bar­bara@gmail. com and catch up at www. getwestlon­ We all bend the facts now and then. But ad­ver­tis­ers are not al­lowed to. If an ad isn’t legal, de­cent, hon­est and truth­ful it mustn’t run.

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