Thursday, 10 November 2011

A Non Story?

The Daily Mail reports:
Commuters in 4x4 vehicles are demanding larger railway station car park spaces so they can avoid being fined for straying over the white lines.

Irate commuters at Didcot Parkway railway station in Oxfordshire say parking bays are too small for their cars.

Motorists who have complained most drive the expensive up-market Range Rover models, which are popular in rural Oxfordshire.
Interesting...because Didcot is my local station which I use very regularly for work and travelling to football. The only issue of parking that has ever cropped up in my local paper, to my knowledge is one of a lack of spaces, not the size of them - an issue epitomised by the demolition of a grade 2 listed pub to make way for extra parking - strangely enough the Daily Mail has never highlighted that.

Now, Didcot Parkway is undergoing a bit of a revamp at the moment on the forecourt - the taxi rank is being moved, more spaces are being made available for drop-off and for disabled travellers etc. None of this is of course mentioned in the piece. Didcot Parkway also has at least four separate car parks (including one very large one), as fitting for a 'parkway' but it's hard to know by the Mail report which car park they refer to.

However a quick search shows this on the BBC local site yesterday:

People parking at an Oxfordshire car park say they are being fined for not keeping within the white lines.

The size of the spaces at Didcot Parkway railway station, on Foxhall Road, are unconfirmed but some commuters claim they are too small.

Ah the Mail have nicked the story from elsewhere, a story which refers to a carpark that has been there longer than I have (over 10 years) and whose parking space sizes have remained unchanged since. The space sizes are no different to the local supermarket ones and certainly they are wider than the ones in a nearby shopping centre.

So this leads me onto the quotes that help 'colour' the article:

One commuter, Penny Reid, from Wantage, drives a Land Rover Freelander and recently received an £80 Civil Parking Notice at the car park.

She said: 'I can fit within the space, I'm a good parker - but if there is a car parked next to me I can't get out.'
"I can fit within the space" So why did Penny get a ticket for not doing so? Hmm. Then...
Edward Hanrahan, from East Hendred, Oxfordshire, regularly parks his Audi A4, which he describes as a 'medium sized car', at Didcot Parkway.

He said: 'I got an £80 parking ticket, then three weeks later when I hadn't paid it I got a final demand and a doubling of the payment.

'Since then I've had another demand from a solicitor and debt collectors - it's all just scare-mongering.'
I've parked an Audi A4 (courtesy car) in that particular carpark, no problems, yet Edward got an £80 parking ticket - for what? The piece doesn't specifically say. (and he admits he didn't pay, or possibly challenge it)

It seems that the Mail have embossed a non story with a '4*4' in rural Oxfordshire slant, chucking in easy quotes from a couple of disgruntled motorists.

I have sympathy that some parking attendants can be over-zealous, but it becomes laughable when trying to defend what is essentially a non-story by describing Didcot as a rustic rural place - when it has one of these beauties residing on its doorstep.

But then we've been here before with the Daily Mail.


  1. A medium sized car nowadays is larger than almost all older vehicles. I have an average garage and if I park my Morris Minor in it I can easily walk all the way round it with room to spare. If I park my Saab 900 in it I can neither get out of the car door nor close the garage door!

  2. You have completely missed the point - by a country mile!

    The Private Parking Companies business model is based on drivers breaching the (unlawful) civil T&Cs at car parks.

    Their incentive is in catching people out and they will bend their (unenforceable) rules simply in order to issue the maximum number of (unenforcible) 'tickets' as they possibly can.

    The whole private parking 'industry' is a legitimate scam, plain and simple

  3. @Woodsy42 Agree about garages being small; I've never lived in a house which could accommodated any car including a Metro - without the difficulties you describe - unless it was a double garage. Rather like double bedrooms etc, they seemed to have shrunk as time has gone on rather than cars getting bigger (or maybe a bit of both)

    @Anon, sorry but why should a driver that can't park properly not get ticketed - a clause that has been part of T&Cs for as long as I can remember. That particular carpark gets very busy, so why should they park in such a way that effectively takes up two spaces?

  4. Mainly the size of cars is become larger than the older one , This is one of the issue regarding to the parking area ,

  5. firstly, attendants are not on commission so do not gain benefits from issuing as many tickets as possible and are generally polite and helpful once approached in the right way, ie politely.
    secondly, i for 1 think if you park your car over the clearly marked lines into the next space you should be issued with a ticket as the person next to you has paid for that space and will not be able to get into their car because of your clear inconsideration to others.
    thirdly, you decided to buy a big fat 4x4, many owners can park within the lines, you clearly chose not to.
    fourthly, if you want to take 2 spaces, kindly pay for them both, as its your choice to ignore terms and conditions and leave your vehicle in this way only to be surprised on your return that an attendant has done his job and issued you a ticket.
    finally you will normally find the parker next to you has normally complained about the poor parking of your vehicle to the attendant thats resulted in the issue of your ticket.
    spaces are no smaller than tescos, asda, etc
    if these drivers cannot park properly keep them off the road as they probably cannot drive properly either.

  6. as a driver of a mpv with 5 kids i returned to my vehicle at this car park in didcot after visiting the railway center, only to find some idiot had parked so close i had to climb over the passenger side seat to get in.
    i spotted an attendant checking the cars and pointed out my anger, the chap was very polite and checked on the vehicle involved and due to the vehicle being well over the line sitting 4 inches from the side of my car issued a ticket.
    i also checked the side of my car for any damage.
    so i agree with the ticket you are complaining about as you deserve it for you lack of consideration.
    maybe you may park properly in future.