ZELLA COMPTON: Sweaty and frantic '“ the pure hell of airport car parks

My goodness, the price to park at Heathrow is upsetting.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 29th May 2018, 9:00 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:54 am
Zella says hell is the short-stay car park at Heathrow
Zella says hell is the short-stay car park at Heathrow

Just for half an hour. In fact, it might easily be more upsetting than saying goodbye to my son as he set off on his summer travels to Canada. Almost, but not quite.

It’s not as if the prices are hidden, it’s clearly displayed that short stay parking will bleed you dry.

The increments are all there, so the race is on from the moment you grab that ticket out of the machine and drive off on the spiralling-down ramps to find a spot.

Seriously, they should consider giving every car a 10-minute period of grace before the charges kick-in.

You know, to find a spot and to park in it. At those prices you’d think it’d be a wide berth, but I’m shocked to report that no, the spaces are delicately thin, like models of yesteryear, offering a glimpse of what life could be like if only you shed all those extra inches off your four-door.

My son was sorted and ready to go through security and didn’t want to have coffee with me as his life was waiting, so I decided to head back and try and beat the clock.

But alas, I was foiled by getting into a lift which didn’t have my floor number. How is that possible, you might ask and I did of everyone clumped in there staring at this slightly sweaty, frantic-eyed woman, how has a whole floor just disappeared?

They all then pretended not to speak English, as if tourists would be parked in short stay. Their games up.

After going up, and down, and still not finding any new friends or my floor I had to resort to the escalators and another lift and finally, budda-bing, there was my floor revealed in all its skinny glory.

But it’ll come as no surprise that I missed my half-hour marker, by about 16 seconds. What are the chances of that? If the devil was to invent a car park, Heathrow terminal short-stay would surely be his blueprint.


Parking woes were the main theme of last week. I was stuck with a parking fine of £30 in a Morrisons’ car park.

Shocking, especially as I’d RINGO’d the hell out of the charge and nearly cried when that was £13.50. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and I was in London. Originally I thought I’d been ticketed when I was trying to RINGO, being as I had to change location, and car. That took me seven minutes. But no, it was issued an hour into my stay. You know what gets me? The onus is on me to sort it, an hour of fuming here, a 10 minute email there, a follow-up email for sure, etc, etc. I wonder if I can charge them for stealing my time?


Every time a new revelation comes to light about sexual harassment, inappropriate behaviour, it hurts.

Especially when it’s someone who you hoped was who you thought they were – even through the prism of media and film.

It can be quite confusing, separating the person from the roles that they play. Understanding that because someone plays a hero character who is well mannered, well meaning and well behaved, it doesn’t mean that the actor is too. The latest revelations about Morgan Freeman will, no doubt, hurt many men who aspire to be like the better characters he has played. It’ll hurt many women too – after all, who hasn’t thought about him narrating their lives? But sadly for the real women, in the real story, his decent behaved characters were seemingly fiction.