BLAISE TAPP: End this parking misery
If there is one thing guaranteed to cause any motorist to grip the steering wheel that little bit more tightly it is the prospect of finding somewhere to park.
Each time I venture out in the people carrier-cum-recycling bin it appears to be increasingly more difficult to park up.
Not only are there more cars on the road than ever before but many of the places where I used to park have now been replaced by flash apartments or have become home to a car wash.
There was a time when it was reasonably straightforward to find somewhere to leave the motor for a morning without it causing you to ring the bank manager in order to increase the overdraft.
You try parking for free now.
Leaving one’s motor outside somebody else’s front door before strolling into town for a skinny latte and a steak and onion slice is akin to peeing on their petunias or shaving their chihuahua. They don’t like it.
More than at any time in living memory an Englishman’s home really is his castle and the 10 feet outside the front of it might as well be a moat.
Such is the strength of feeling from bungalow owners everywhere that most streets within walking distance of a Starbucks are now controlled zones where you require a much coveted residents’ parking voucher.
That homeowners would sooner pay to park outside their own homes than being forced to look at a stranger’s Mondeo illustrates just what a thorny subject parking has become.
The main problem is that, putting the ridiculously high price to one side, paying for the privilege to park is not as simple as it should be.
It seems that no two paystations are ever the same, meaning that the user is compelled to read the tiny terms and conditions whenever visiting somewhere new so as to ensure they don’t cop for a £100 fine.
Many require either all or part of the registration number to be inputted, something which can tax both the daft and the numerically illiterate.
Parking companies, which have long come under fire for their approach to ‘customer’ relations, are now taking the somewhat radical step of advising motorists to either hang onto their parking tickets or even take pictures of them.
The argument goes that motorists should hang onto their tickets for weeks afterwards as proof of purchase, given that so many fines are issued in error or are contested.
Put frankly, this is as likely to happen as it is that Theresa May will ever perform stand-up on Britain’s Got Talent.
Modern lives are busy enough without us being expected to take a quick snap of a two hour parking ticket just in case the technology goes belly up again.
What should happen is that every parking meter gives us the option of paying by text or even an app and if they do insist on cash then all parking firms and councils should be required by law to ensure that machines accept the new £1 coins.
There are those who would sooner that we all left our cars at home and got our bikes or caught the bus, but as long as the car remains king then parking should be more than just an afterthought.