Parking problems and solutions
There are two sides to parking problems and solutions:
- The point of view of the motorist
- The point of view of the landowner
These two sides or points of view are not congruent and in many ways they are geometrically oppositional. The conflict gives rise to a veritable parking enforcement industry that serves the interest of the landowner, whether ordinary people or corporations.
The motorists have powerful lobbies such as, in the UK, the Automobile Association and the Royal Automobile Club. Such associations place the motorist in a (very) different position from the unhappy junior staff member of a company who dares not join a trade union because if or when his boss finds out he will surely get the order of the boot for nominally something else.
Parking problems and solutions fall into two groups:
- Public sector parking such as on public streets and roads
- Private sector parking such as on private driveways and the car parks of companies
It has always been the case in the UK and most probably in all or most countries that the landowner and/or his agents do everything within the law. Parking is a situation where interests clash and tempers fray. The conflict of interest between the two powerful interests of the property owner and the motorist makes it necessary that not only is justice done, it is seen to be done. Not only that, the general public must be in agreement.
It is essential that in the United Kingdom and elsewhere whatever the landlord and/or his agents do is within the law in parking problems and solutions and generally publicly acceptable, particularly as tempers rise over this subject whenever there is a dispute.
It is definitely not the case that in the days of the wheel clamp and the tow away in the UK, that is to say before 1 October 2012 when the protection of Freedoms Act 2012 made them illegal the business of wheel clamping was a gung-ho activity with anything going. There were tight rules and regulations and the Security Industry Authority licensed people to do the clamping with tight restrictions of what could and could not be done.
The clamp marks a black period in the history of British motoring. It was an import from the US state of Colorado where it had proved more than useful in the matters of deterring unregulated parking and, importantly, swelling the City of Denver"s coffers with the parking fine money.
In the UK the introduction of the clamp received rave reviews from the ranks of the powerful property owning classes. Some of them seemed to think the wheel clamp was something like a "silver bullet" that not only deterred unwanted parking, it also garnered, in some cases, additional income from "commissions" from the wheel clampers.
The towing away of vehicles to car pounds caused trouble amounting to an uproar especially as the operatives insisted on release fees. This particular way of addressing parking problems and solutions led to curious crowds gathering in the streets to watch yet another motor car getting lifted onto a towing lorry to be paraded on the highways on the way to the car pound.
The Freedom Act 2012 makes the use of the clamp and the tow illegal and subject to fines. A section of the public thinks it should have been law earlier.
There is a resulting vacuum caused by the disappearance of these two powerful deterrents.
Parking problems and solutions is going in the way of cyberspace and the company Flashpark invented a Web based tried, tested and passed method of parking control.
These are the operational stages:
- The landowner places carefully sited warning notices around the parking area
- If someone decides to "call the bluff" by parking nevertheless he takes a digital photograph revealing the registration number of the vehicle and the disregarded notice .
- He emails all of this to Flashpark
- The company then discovers from the UK"s government (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) the "registered keeper" and bills the same. There are special provisions when somebody else had been driving the vehicle
Parking specialists think, most of them, that this method will spread and become worldwide. There are no patents on it.