Saturday, 19 September 2009

Day 354 of 365: American Menace? C'est Moi!

It seems as though I am an American menace to British society. At least for today I am.

The following is an excerpt from the website in reference to 'Parking in Dudley.'

"Through civil parking enforcement, the council aims to tackle congestion caused by illegal and inconsiderate parking which causes problems in our towns, whether you're driving, cycling, on public transport or on foot."

This is the story of how today I was basically labeled a problem-causing "inconsiderate motorist" and penalised by the money-grabbing opportunistic cash-collectors working for Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council (aka Civil Enforcement Officers).

Like any other Saturday, I set off for a one-to-one tuition assignment I hold near Kingswinford. I arrive at the house as I have been for the past several months and spend roughly an hour of my time helping a pupil achieve higher academic performance -- a good deed some might say. And like any other Saturday, I park my vehicle in the same exact location outside the family home -- shown in the photo above (exhibit A).

I ask at this time that you note how I am far off the road away from any markings, alongside the wall adjacent to the drive of the property, and most importantly, not otherwise obstructing the vision or footpath of any pedestrian on foot, pushing a pram, or in a wheelchair.

Folks...I park here...EVERY WEEK. Every week my car takes on this stance and remains as such until I finish my work and return home. Every week I come, I park, I leave and never ONCE have I returned to my car to find upon the windscreen a yellow and black Penalty Charge Notice as I did today.

However, today it appears as though Civil Enforcement Officer number 24 had reasonable cause to believe that at 14:44 a contravention had occurred and that a penalty charge of £70 is now payable. What was my violation, you may ask?

'Parked in a restricted street during prescribed hours.'

HUH?! WHAAAA?! Seriously...I mean, we all speak ENGLISH here, right?! That doesn't even make ANY sense!! There are absolutely NO signs posted anywhere along the ENTIRE STREET to indicate any parking restrictions, not to mention I was parking outside a residence on their pavement and no where IN the street.

I would like to personally ask Civil Enforcement Officer 24 in what way I caused any infraction in this case...because you all KNOW that this fiesty American most definitely phoned her husband immediately to come meet her at the property to bring her 14.2 megapixel Kodak so she could obtain photographic evidence by which to challenge the validity of this ticket. The property owner and guardian of the student I tutor even took a drive up and down the road to see if there was a sign somewhere that was overlooked and questioned that 'surely if I had a PCN, so should the neighbours who are parked the same way on the other side of their drive.' He assured me that any guests who have ever come to their home in the time they have lived there have ALWAYS parked where I was parked and not once has anyone ever received a PCN.

Hmm, sounds like a certain Civil Enforcement Officer has a quota to meet this month and went a bit Nazi on his/her little ticket machine. That, or someone surely wee'd in their Weetabix this morning...because it doesn't make logical sense otherwise.

Needless to say, a letter is being drafted at present to challenge this bogus charge and Dudley Council are going to have a pint-sized, pregnant and disgruntled American to deal with first thing on Monday morning.


Natalie said...

Love it! :) I also love your car! Trés European!

Natalie said...

Hrmm. Possibly should rephrase that now that I look at it...I love your feistiness, not the retardedness of your ticket. My bad!

Johnny said...

Go for it! I beat a ticket in Birmingham because there was no sign posted and no lines marked on the curb... The PCN had an email address and I attached photos and received a letter in the mail saying it was squashed about a month later...

Meg said...

FOR THE COWARD(S) IN DUDLEY/STOURBRIDGE LEAVING 'ANONYMOUS' COMMENTS: I don't have to justify myself to you. Incorrectly quoting laws that you claim to know or justifying your own knowledge because you have 'recently passed your driving test' does not give you authority over me.

Your 'anonymous' comments will NOT be published on my blog as it is meant to be a personal, lighthearted space where I vent from time to time. Not your own sounding board to accuse me of being irresponsible.

Move along, thanks.

Meg said...

Comments for this post have now been closed as I appear to have acquired a blog-stalker. This is quite obvious when you are specifically searching Google for this exact post and frankly, I find it disturbing that you have so little of a social life you feel the need to keep 'checking up' on this post to see if your comments have been posted or if I have responded.

So here is your final response:

I couldn't give two craps if you 'love my blog' or if you are on my side on this issue or not -- that wasn't the purpose of my post. It was a vent...simple as, and the only comments I CHOOSE to publish are comments from honest people I know and people with blogs of their own, not losers with nothing better to do with their lonely lives than to check up on this one post repeatedly.

The sheer fact that I have ignored your comments for nearly a fortnight now should show enough just how little I care what you have to say. As a matter of fact, if I really cared, I would go ahead and contact Virgin Media to tip them off with your IP address and have you reported for clearly abusing their internet services for the purposes of harassing people.

The issue in the past (the post is over a month old for crying out loud) and you really need to find a better use for your time considering you stayed on that one post for nearly 9 minutes of your life just to think of something 'clever' to leave for a comment. It must have strained you.

Hope it was worth it.

Move along already and find another blog to stalk because you and your fake concern/comments are stale and boring me.