I decided to go out on a Patrol with the CEO’s (Civil Enforcement Officer) in my role as Chairman of the Parking Panel. I thought it was a good idea to see what the ‘foot soldiers’ face before we came up with some new and wonderful way on this issue. At the end of the day they are the ones who are going to have to enforce these good ideas. So I had better go and see what they do.
One of the CEO’s called Emma agreed to show me around. Our route was in the centre of Truro. Out we went just before 10am. You might think it takes a special kind of person to do this job. They are. Not because they get satisfaction of issuing tickets, but they are able to resist cold like Polar Bears. Today was a cold one.
Emma showed my around all the problem areas and gave me some ideas on how they could be improved. Some of the historic problems probably aren’t solvable, unless you knocked the street down. I don’t think people would be happy with that. So certain areas would best be handled under ‘it’s not perfect, but it kinda works’.
Whilst out and about people came up to emma and asked various question as to where a certain shop is, or where they could park legally etc. Emma was a one person information booth. Happily giving out the advice when needed.
Generally most people Parked well and within the law. I thought it was going to be worse and maybe it is elsewhere (will report when I visit other areas). Today I was only patrolling one area. What I did notice whilst I was out is that a certain group adds to a lot of the troubles.
I may get some flak from this, but one group who seems to ‘add’ to the trouble are Blue Badge Holders. It seems (and i am far from accusing them all) because they have a Blue Badge they can parking anywhere they like. In loading bays, restricted zones and one car I saw just ‘abandoned’ on the pavement at the top of Pydar Street. I was surprised how big the problem was. Out of all the tickets issued (6 in a 2 hour period), one was for a non-badge holder.
One lady who is also a Badge Holder was parking in a loading bay whilst she went shopping. I know this because she returned laden with goods. She got issued a ticket and appeared just after the ticket was issued. She was not happy and called the CEO vermin with a few other choice mutterings. Emma did say she had been called far, far worse and with words that no person should ever say. You might think nothing wrong in parking there but those bays are there for a purpose. If the delivery trucks can’t park there, then they just park were they can and in return it causes more trouble.
Over all it was refreshing to see those who had been issued tickets accept they were in the wrong and once Emma explained why. They seemed to accept it. Maybe it was because I was standing next to Emma and they had no idea who I was or what role. Emma did mention that people had accepted it more today.
I came away with a good picture of this area and its problems. Some I hope we can solve. Others I think won’t be unless we redesign Truro. All in all a good day, apart from losing the ability to feel my toes.