Friday, November 06, 2009

The Human Ticket Machine

'Human Ticket Machine': Traffic warden on course to hand out record-breaking 2,000 tickets in his first year on the job
By Daily Mail
05th November 2009

Britain's most prolific traffic warden was unmasked yesterday - a Yellow Peril who has dished out over 400 tickets in his first two months on the job.

Geoffrey Stobbart, 53, dubbed the 'Human Ticket Machine' by locals, has issued 416 £70 tickets in Kettering, Northamptonshire, between August and October.
At his current rate he is on target to hand out 2,000 tickets this year - twice the rate of John Woodgate, Britain's previously toughest warden, known as 'The Terminator'.

Employed by Kettering Borough Council, Geoffrey covers 695 pay-and-display parking spaces in the town, as well as double yellow lines and surrounding residential areas.
The town had been left without a traffic warden for three months after his predecessor retired earlier this year.

Now Mr Stobbart, from Corby, s working 37 hours a week to stop motorists parking illegally across his patch - and says he is 'proud' of his performance.
But motorists and drivers' groups yesterday slammed his 'unblinking dedication to making lives a misery' and potentially threatening Christmas trade.
Gene Picton, 25, who works at a motor spares shop in Kettering, said Mr Stobbard was known as a 'parking tyrant' who ticketed his brother dropping children at nursery.
He said: 'Lots of my family members and half my customers have mentioned being ticketed by him.
'My brother was furious after he got a ticket while he was dropping his daughter off at nursery and said the guy was a parking tyrant.
'He had to pay a fine and was really angry. This guy patrols the street day and night. He's a human ticket machine.'

The Association of British Drivers said Mr Stobbart would drive shoppers and visitors out of Kettering town centre.

A spokesman said: 'If he continues to issue tickets at this rate then Kettering won't have any shoppers left - that would be crippling for local businesses at Christmas.
'The ticketing is just a money making racket for the council and is ridiculous and officious.'

Neil Herron, who runs campaign group Parking Appeals, said Kettering Borough Council needed to look very carefully at its parking regulations.
He said: 'The council should not go down the route of beating people with a big financial stick and it is very dangerous to have one individual effectively controlling town parking.
'They should take a light-foot approach in the run up to Christmas and encourage people to come into the centre not literally drive them away.'

Mr Stobbard, a father-of-five who has three grandchildren, worked as a senior foreman at an aluminium factory until he became redundant and took the warden's job.
Yesterday he defended his record - and said he is being complimented by some locals for doing his job properly.
He said: 'You would think being a traffic warden is a thankless task but I have received a lot of compliments from local residents for the improvements that have already happened.
'There hadn't been any policing of parking for so long that people became complacent and thought they could do what they liked.
'But the town centre has improved immensely already and things are much better now.
'The pedestrianised areas and the market place were a nightmare when I started - market traders said so many cars came through it was like a motorway.
'And weekends were the worst because shoppers used to abuse the residents' parking bays, which upset a lot of local people.
'I have never parked illegally and nor has my wife - I hope I am setting a good example.'
He added: 'I wouldn't call this an achievement - I want to see the number of tickets I issue go down because that means things are getting better.'

Jim Hakewill, leader of Kettering Borough Council, commended Mr Stobbard for making 'a big difference'.
Ruthless traffic warden John Woodgate, 59, held the previous record for most parking tickets issued.
He was dubbed 'the Terminator' by local motorists for issuing 11,000 tickets in 11 years in the small market town of Haverhill, Suffolk.


Anonymous said...

so like the goons patrolling the streets in Redcar, this guy is going to attempt to place struggling local businesses in peril - at the lead-up to xmas. All of course, met with the absolute backing of his employees.. Councillors Mr & Mrs Nuptee, holders of the local purse.

Peter Wright said...

Well done to that man! Clearing up the roads in a horribly congested area. Driving around Kettering is a nightmare due to all the idiots parked on double yellows etc.

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