Thursday, December 13, 2007

Free Parking for Daily Mail staff ... and anyone else in Kensington

A little visit today into Kensington saw F1 NED parked up in Derry Street outside the offices of the Daily Mail. Waiting for a contact to arrive, and a space in the pay and display bays, I observed that there was a heavy Parking Attendant presence. It looked like a regular hot spot ... punters picking up and dropping off and a number of chauffeurs waiting for clients.
Parking Attendant happy hunting ground!

A space became available in the last Pay and Display bay in a series of five or so. As the bay was incorrectly marked it therefore constituted free parking ... and there was no reason to allow a local authority to fall foul of another claim of benefiting from unlawfully derived income so I decided not to add to their woes by giving them any money for a p and d ticket.

Not long before the first Attendant arrived.

"Afternoon ... can I have a parking ticket please?"

This always causes confusion.

" Sir, are you going to buy a pay and display ticket?"

" No thank you ... and you know that I don't need to as the bay is incorrectly marked."

A little lesson in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 followed, and, by this time, I had been surrounded by 4 Parking Attendants. The supervisor identified himself and I advised him that if he gave me a ticket I would call him as a witness, and as a supervisor he should be aware that he couldn’t issue in an area which he knew was incorrectly marked. After a few moments he decided not to issue but claimed he was only doing as he was told by the council.

I said, " Well give me a ticket then and I will take my chances but I think you know that the restriction is incorrect and so when I prove that I intend to take action against the council and ensure that everyone who has been ticketed here can then claim their money back ... could cost a few quid. Do you fancy the challenge?"

He thought for a moment. He looked at his colleagues.

" I will report this to the council and ensure that they are aware that it is corrected."

They all departed the scene. No ticket was issued and I handed out a dozen or so leaflets to drivers who had spotted the car and witnessed events.

An hour later another Parking Attendant came. She checked the car.
I ambled over.
"I’m not giving you a ticket ... I’ve seen you on the telly."

Another lesson in the law was given while she read the advert on the car. She would not issue ... to me but then proceeded to ticket the car in front just as the driver returned 6 minutes after the expiry of his pay and display ticket. It was pointed out to him why the restriction was unlawful and therefore why he should not have been ticketed.
"I listen to you and Barrie on Talksport. I’ll sign up tonight and appeal the ticket."

Meanwhile, Kensington and Chelsea Council has just been put on notice that the bay does not comply with the law and they have been asked to confirm that they will suspend enforcement until the markings are corrected.

Want to know why the restriction is not legal? Visit

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