Next Episode of Parking Wars is
Parking Wars is a three-part documentary which explores the controversial world of parking through the eyes of the public, motorists and traffic wardens. Campaigners include: a ex-political reporter, a bed-and-breakfast owner and a ballet teacher. Cameras follow enforcers from authorities in Hampshire, Herefordshire and Yorkshire carrying out their everyday duties. The series will also see the drama unfold as the cameras follow the Traffic Penalty Tribunals, and the lawyers who face the drivers fighting to have their fines withdrawn.
In the first episode, Geoff Lawrence is preparing for his latest appeal, for parking on a kerb in Slough. He says: "Because I have a disabled ticket in my vehicle that means I can park, the issue was the suggestion that I had parked up on the kerb, but there is no kerb. I can run my foot along there and my foot collides with nothing... There is no kerb."
On the most southwesterly point of the UK, in Cornwall, lies Coverack, a peaceful fishing village, where residents are up in arms because for the last 11 years a family have been living for free in part of the main car park. The local council are trying to evict Sally Bowers, a traveller, and Elwood, her 18-year-old son, along with their two dogs and 16 vehicles. She says: "Obviously we don't want to move, unless every opportunity has been explored, don't want to move unless it's absolutely necessary. The solution is out there somewhere, just got to find it."
In Hereford, civil enforcement officer CEO Yvonne, a mother of two, likes to think she takes a maternal approach to the job. She says: "I like to think I'm a bit softer than some CEOs. You don't have to be all traffic wardeny."
Yvonne doesn't usually dish out more than one ticket per car per day, but a repeat offender gets her hot under the collar, leading to a potentially dangerous situation after he repeatedly illegally parks, then leaves his car in a disabled bay before calling in his friends. He says: "You can put another one on there if you want, I'm getting rid of the car tomorrow so it don't bother me. Yeah, no probs, I ain't paying it anyway."
On the south coast, in pricey Sandbanks, the local council has decided to cash in by charging £15 a day for parking. Salon owner Stephanie Stevenson is facing a £70,000 annual parking bill for her 30 staff, who all commute to work on the exclusive peninsula. She says: It's social segregation, they are saying this social demographic can no longer afford to go to Sandbanks and you know where they did that - St Tropez. If you go to St Tropez it's exactly like that, the private beaches cost more money."
Serial campaigner and beach hut chairman Bob Lister is drumming up opposition to the plans. With 9,000 signatures on his petition, Bob's going to make sure local voices are heard, He's planning a protest at next month's council meeting. He says: "To come to beach you should be able to park on a nearby road."
In Peckham, South London, Paul Houston and his family have been selling luxury second hand cars for more than 60 years, but two red lines painted outside their forecourt are threatening to put them out of business. Six years ago, Transport for London - TfL - painted double red lines preventing stopping at any time to ease congestion, so the family painted over them to keep customers coming through their door.
Now TfL are threatening to repaint the original lines, and Paul is fuming. He says: "If we go back to the 70s, [we've] seen out the oil crisis, seen out two or three other recessions, then for TfL to be the ones to put us out of business, how ironic is that - that's why I think we are at war. If they lost this what would happen to them?"
Hereford's blue badge supersleuth Andy is determined to stop people parking fraudulently in his town - happily booking those running errands for relatives in hospital or buying presents for their children's teachers. He says: "People might think that was really harsh but it isn't because at the end of the day, it's everyday people that are doing it that's why we just have to nip it in the bud."
In the second episode, tough-talking Kam Paul, a civil enforcement officer who has only been in the job for a year, patrols the streets of Romford - once a quaint market town in Essex, but now part of one of the largest boroughs in London – Havering. Her patience is tested when she meets an abusive motorist who has left their car parked with all four wheels on the pavement.
In the third and final episode, beatboxing Gravesend civil enforcement officer Clive Nolan plays spot the parking sign with his colleague Chris Akams, before the latter faces a driver irate about him ticketing a parked car that she says has been stolen and dumped. Clive says he's used to being abused: "The funniest one I've had was down The Grove where there's a Jobcentre, and people shouted out to me to get a proper job. I thought to myself, ‘You're the ones standing outside a Jobcentre.'"
Resident John Ingle, who has a sight impairment and is part of the Pedestrian's Liberation Group (PLG), puts his own ‘Stupid Parking' stickers on cars parked blocking the pavement. He says: "I'm not a traffic warden, although some people think I should be. But if I was, they would all get a parking ticket."
Meanwhile in Manchester, driver Dustie Hickey faces a Traffic Penalty Tribunal after stopping in a bus lane - which she says was accidental and she couldn't see the sign. Whatever the decision, she's come prepared to pay up after selling some designer shoes she found in a skip, for £70. She says: "That'll either be holiday money for the summer for my daughter, or it'll be paying Manchester City Council some money so they can actually put some signs up on the lamp-post, telling people it's a bus lane."
In Cambridge, inner city streets have become clogged with parked cars after the council started charging £1 for its previously free park and ride service. Resident Stephen Halliday says: "We've actually given up trying to park our car here now. We park our car two miles away at my daughter's house and I'm afraid it's what we've been driven to. This is no longer being used as a road, it's being used as a car park."
Some residents, including campaigner Michelle Hunt, have taken to using road cones and writing notes to put on drivers' cars to stop them parking outside their houses. One van driver says: "What exactly are they protecting? A bit of road that's not theirs."
A shadowy anonymous figure who dubs himself the Cone Ranger agrees, and spends his time after dark lifting the cones and throwing them into gardens. He says: "If you're working in a certain area daily for a period of time it can be frustrating not being able to park."
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