Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More Double standards in Blackburn ... park anywhere if you are the Mayor

Mayor's car given bus stop parking space
By Tom Moseley

THE Mayor's official car has been given a parking space at a bus stop, prompting fury at council bosses' 'double standards'.
The 'scandalous and arrogant' decision has been slammed by critics who say the mayor's black BMW should be treated the same as everyone else.
And a bus operator accused the council of setting a bad example and inconveniencing passengers.

Parking wardens have been told not to issue tickets when the mayor's car is left in the 'space' at the bus stop in Exchange Street, next to Blackburn Town Hall.

But members of the public have not enjoyed the same treatment, with a number of complaints in recent months about 'over zealous' parking wardens.
Attendants have given fixed penalty notices to, among others, a security van as it picked up cash from a bank in the town centre and a resident who waited for one minute while picking his wife outside the Postal Order in Darwen Street.

Parking ticket champion Barrie Segal, who founded the website www.appealnow.com, said: "If you or I parked there we would get a ticket.
"This is scandalous, and typical of the arrogance of councils."

Parking campaigner Neil Herron, who has successfully challenged parking tickets across the country, said: "If bus stop regulations are not being enforced in this case, what sort of message does that send out to the rest of the borough?"

David Wilson, the commercial development director of Lancashire United, said that cars parking in bus stops created "huge problems".
He said: "Bus drivers need to be able to use bus stops properly and get to the pavement to make sure that passengers have proper access.
"It is not very good at all if the mayor is parking in a bus stop and we will certainly be raising it with the council."

The parking space at the bus stop was created after a £900,000 revamp of the area around the town hall.
A proper space was created, but that was found to obscure the view of pedestrians crossing a nearby zebra crossing.
The bus stop will be used temporarily while a review is undertaken to find a permanent parking space.

Opposition council leader Kate Hollern said: "Parking in a town centre bus stop sets a very bad example.
"Just a few weeks ago I was given a parking ticket because I parked partially in a bus stop. I know I shouldn't have done it, and I deserved the ticket, but it should be one rule for all.
"Whoever drew up the plans for mayor to park at the end of a bus lane is crazy."

Trader Krish Singh, of interiors store Milano's in Blackburn, accused the council of double standards.
Mr Singh said: "The wardens are very quick to issue tickets to our customers, as well as us, but not so quick to issue to the people in the town hall. It's clearly a case of do as we say, not as we do."

Last month council bosses were left red-faced after they forgot to replace the tax disc on the mayor's car.
The car, which has a registration CB1, is used on official visits by the Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen, Coun Maureen McGarvey.

Council leader Colin Rigby said: "Concerns were raised about the safety of pedestrians who may not be seen by motorists as they approached the zebra crossing.
"A safety audit will be undertaken, which could lead to a more official looking car park space."

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