Who's right? Paddy? Or me? There's only one way to find out. FIGHT!
But since we're civilised people we're going to argue the toss right here on the Blog.
Paddy O' Connell got a parking ticket and he's NOT happy.
He writes here about his experience...and I reply underneath that. Feel free to add YOUR comment when you've read them both.
"In the middle of December, I got a parking ticket, which I want to dispute. Here in the office, colleagues disagree, telling me to pay up and shut up. Please give your advice on what you'd do a/. As the person who received the ticket and b/. As the person who received a letter from me asking for clemency.
Here are the facts, m'lud:
In December, I rode my motorbike to a London Borough for a BH interview at a primary school. (I wasn't looking for a classroom place.) The street was empty, and I paid for one hour at a pay and display machine. As I left, a teacher remarked if I had time I should take a look at the unusual building next door. When I got there, I found it had a café, and a volunteer who had a few minutes to spare offered to show me around.
I got back to my bike, finding that I'd been ticketed five minutes after the expiration of my ticket. This is my personal responsibility, and not the BBC. But I want to write a letter saying this.
Dear Head of Parking Services:
I was lucky to attend a Primary School in your borough for work. I was meeting teachers and children in your Borough on a pre-arranged meeting as part of my professional duties. On leaving, I was urged to take a look at the unusual church next door. On the spur of the moment I went for a quick look round. By luck a volunteer said although it was closed, he had ten minutes and could give me a quick tour. I also had a cup of coffee. When I emerged, I'd been given a parking ticket.
I don't dispute the vehicle is registered to me, nor that I had over-run the stay. But the ticket was issued in a totally empty street, five minutes after my time had expired.
Will you waive the fine, on the grounds that whilst curiosity killed the cat, it shouldn't to kill the spontaneous urge to see the sights of your Borough. You could also allow greater discretion in the empty streets to allow more time before issuing penalty notices.
"If I was the person at the Council I would tell Paddy to get lost. In another Borough. Would it have killed Paddy to feed the meter or move his bike? I'm sure the borough is full of wonderful places but its money from parking meters which will help pay for them. It's annoying, of course, but should the good people of the borough be denied the income that's rightfully
there's theirs (!) just because Paddy was being nice and is a borderline national treasure?
I didn't even try to dispute a ticket when I'd accidentally double parked having taken three heavily pregnant women to hospital after I'd spotted them in labour as I was delivering meals on wheels. There's a time and a place, Paddy. I'm SURE the public will side with me."