Attendant patrolling empty car parks

PUBLISHED: 12:59 28 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:38 25 May 2010

LATE on Saturday night my son's car broke down.

LATE on Saturday night my son's car broke down. He managed to get it into South Road car park and rolled it close to a street light to see if there was anything obviously wrong.

There wasn't and so he came home, leaving the broken down car in the car park.

At 8.30 Sunday morning I drove to the car park with plenty of tools, but after working for an hour on the car I could not find an immediate fault and so brought a few bits home to clean and test. When we returned to the car at around 10.15am, we found that it had a parking ticket. My first reaction was anger, as it was an otherwise empty car park, subsequently I have given the matter a little thought.

Like most local authorities, North Somerset Council has to watch their expenditure and so the first question I asked myself was how much is it costing for North Somerset to have a car park attendant patrolling empty car parks at 8am on a Sunday morning in January? My next question was why on earth would they have anyone out? The conclusion I have drawn is worrying.

If a person takes their car into Weston for an evening out and parks in one of the council's car parks, pays their fee and leaves a ticket in the car, they are fine. Later in the evening they decide that they have had a few too many drinks and take the safe and sensible option of getting a taxi home. Next morning they return to pick up their car and find they have a fixed penalty fine. An excellent reward for responsible behaviour and a minimum of £40 into the councils coffers. You only need 20 or so responsible drivers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night to make for a very profitable weekend.

This scenario may be pure speculation on my part, but I cannot understand any other reason why the council would be paying someone to drive around their car parks so early in the morning, especially at this time of year.

NEIL MACKINNON

Balmoral Way, Worle

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