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Parking rage incidents leave wardens terrified in Bishop's Waltham

By Emma Streatfield

9:50am Friday 25th January 2013

Parking rage incidents leave wardens terrified

IT is the classic Hampshire country town where the locals are more used to a genteel day’s shopping away from the hustle and bustle of the cities.

But the usual peace and quiet of Bishop’s Waltham town centre is being interrupted by an outbreak of parking rage.

There have been so many incidents involving parking that the local wardens are said to be “terrified” by continued abuse.

And according to a councillor, one parking warden has even been the victim of an assault – an allegation refuted by local police.

“Wardens are almost terrified now to say anything because they get abuse,” said Winchester city councillor David McLean, who also told a meeting of some “reports of some fairly savage issues” in the square.

The instances of abuse got so bad that the local beat bobby even accompanied traffic wardens on patrol.

One traffic warden working in the town, who did not want to be identified, told the Daily Echo how he had been verbally abused and threatened with violence.

“You expect a bit of a problem, you don’t expect the nasty abuse,” he said.

Another said she had been sworn at and told to “get a proper job”, but a colleague had been shaken up when threatened before Christmas.

“It made him feel very vulnerable,” she said. “We’re just doing our job, not individually targeting anybody.”

But Debbie Walker, from The Coffee Shop, on the High Street, said that over the last year warden patrols seemed to have been stepped up, from seeing them once a week to every day.

“It’s the relentless pursuit of people,” she said.

“I think people will perceive that they’re being persecuted.”

James Cooper, at Plates PCs, in St George’s Square, said he had seen nothing beyond frustration, but parking was limited and expensive.

He added that he had seen people fined when popping into a shop for a few minutes.

Wardens patrol the town six days a week and have done so for the past two years. Beat officer PC Simon Paulls said he did not believe a warden had been assaulted but a few have been verbally assaulted.

Cllr Barry Nicholson, chairman of the parish council’s highways committee, said: “We do have a parking problem and that’s why we did a review of the yellow lining in the town, because it’s unnecessary in places.”

The parish is waiting to hear back from Winchester City Council, which is responsible for parking enforcement, after the review was presented in November.

A spokesman for the city council said its parking department worked closely with police and it would hope for a quick response and support to an incident.

Comments(34)

Comments(34)

chunky_lover says...
10:09am Fri 25 Jan 13

Most of them are just jobsworths, of course they are gonna get grief....

Rockhopper says...
10:10am Fri 25 Jan 13

Before Christmas I parked in Bishops Waltham and went to the ticket machine.
There was no queue so I must have been a minute or two at the most.
As I was returning to my car a traffic warden had appeared out of the blue looking at my vehicle and about to write out a penalty!
Having explained the situation he did not say one word and walked off.
If in my experience they behave in this arrogant and ignorant manner maybe it could explain why people are getting angry!

MGRA says...
10:13am Fri 25 Jan 13

Rockhopper wrote:
Before Christmas I parked in Bishops Waltham and went to the ticket machine.
There was no queue so I must have been a minute or two at the most.
As I was returning to my car a traffic warden had appeared out of the blue looking at my vehicle and about to write out a penalty!
Having explained the situation he did not say one word and walked off.
If in my experience they behave in this arrogant and ignorant manner maybe it could explain why people are getting angry!
yes the trouble is Wardens are not the brightest ( otherwise they would not be wardens, they would maybe be rocket scientists ). However its not hard to obey parking regs really....why is this even an issue, why is the UK obsessed with irrelevant things...

MisterGrimsdale says...
10:16am Fri 25 Jan 13

Send for Parking Patawayo!

MisterGrimsdale says...
10:19am Fri 25 Jan 13

......And here he is
http://www.youtube.c
om/watch?v=Tw5d8GwEC
2s

Forest Resident says...
10:21am Fri 25 Jan 13

Traffic Wardens can improve their image by reducing the patrolling of 'easy target' large car parks or town centre streets and instead visit residential areas where inconsiderate, obstructive, and illegal parking is a genuine problem for many local residents. Of course the revenue stream for the council may be reduced because of a lower number of fines, but as an elected body the council remain accountable to the public so they would do well to listen!

downfader says...
10:33am Fri 25 Jan 13

Rockhopper wrote:
Before Christmas I parked in Bishops Waltham and went to the ticket machine.
There was no queue so I must have been a minute or two at the most.
As I was returning to my car a traffic warden had appeared out of the blue looking at my vehicle and about to write out a penalty!
Having explained the situation he did not say one word and walked off.
If in my experience they behave in this arrogant and ignorant manner maybe it could explain why people are getting angry!
How do you know he wasnt just taking the plates and time for later reference? If they get abused chances are they wont say anything to you for fear of aggrevation.

They've a job to do - most people they ticket HAVE overstayed or parked without paying. Trouble is the ranters like to project an image to make them look better when infact they're not parking within the limitations of the parking spot.

downfader says...
10:35am Fri 25 Jan 13

Forest Resident wrote:
Traffic Wardens can improve their image by reducing the patrolling of 'easy target' large car parks or town centre streets and instead visit residential areas where inconsiderate, obstructive, and illegal parking is a genuine problem for many local residents. Of course the revenue stream for the council may be reduced because of a lower number of fines, but as an elected body the council remain accountable to the public so they would do well to listen!
Two of them did that in Chesnut Road, Southampton. The locals set about them.

Ambulances/Fire engines cant get down there half the time.

Rockhopper says...
10:43am Fri 25 Jan 13

downfader wrote:
Rockhopper wrote: Before Christmas I parked in Bishops Waltham and went to the ticket machine. There was no queue so I must have been a minute or two at the most. As I was returning to my car a traffic warden had appeared out of the blue looking at my vehicle and about to write out a penalty! Having explained the situation he did not say one word and walked off. If in my experience they behave in this arrogant and ignorant manner maybe it could explain why people are getting angry!
How do you know he wasnt just taking the plates and time for later reference? If they get abused chances are they wont say anything to you for fear of aggrevation. They've a job to do - most people they ticket HAVE overstayed or parked without paying. Trouble is the ranters like to project an image to make them look better when infact they're not parking within the limitations of the parking spot.
If you read my post properly you would see I was in the process of purchasing a ticket so there was no reason for him to record anything!

Ellwood says...
10:57am Fri 25 Jan 13

The simple truth here, is that all too often (as we can see) Councils' and their operatives are plainly in the wrong when handing out tickets for infringements. The public have every right to challenge those errors and inaccuracies........
..... on every single occasion. Everyone understands that there needs to be parking regulation....but it must be administered impartially...accura
tely and in a balanced manner......which unfortunately it often isn't.

downfader says...
11:09am Fri 25 Jan 13

Rockhopper wrote:
downfader wrote:
Rockhopper wrote: Before Christmas I parked in Bishops Waltham and went to the ticket machine. There was no queue so I must have been a minute or two at the most. As I was returning to my car a traffic warden had appeared out of the blue looking at my vehicle and about to write out a penalty! Having explained the situation he did not say one word and walked off. If in my experience they behave in this arrogant and ignorant manner maybe it could explain why people are getting angry!
How do you know he wasnt just taking the plates and time for later reference? If they get abused chances are they wont say anything to you for fear of aggrevation. They've a job to do - most people they ticket HAVE overstayed or parked without paying. Trouble is the ranters like to project an image to make them look better when infact they're not parking within the limitations of the parking spot.
If you read my post properly you would see I was in the process of purchasing a ticket so there was no reason for him to record anything!
Depends if he's seen you park up, doesnt it. He may not even have been writing your car down, he could have been doing other paperwork.

A multitude of variables...

downfader says...
11:12am Fri 25 Jan 13

Ellwood wrote:
The simple truth here, is that all too often (as we can see) Councils' and their operatives are plainly in the wrong when handing out tickets for infringements. The public have every right to challenge those errors and inaccuracies........

..... on every single occasion. Everyone understands that there needs to be parking regulation....but it must be administered impartially...accura

tely and in a balanced manner......which unfortunately it often isn't.
But you dont challenge the guy with the ticket machine. You go through official channels.

Any statistical evidence to prove that they're issuing tickets wrongly..?

I certainly see there needs to be a standardisation and tidy-up of parking regulation, but thats a separate issue.

Urbane Forager says...
12:03pm Fri 25 Jan 13

I support the traffic wardens in their work. If people are parked illegally, they should get a ticket and be fined. Just popping into a shop for a couple of minutes is hardly a valid excuse for obstructing the highway, is it?

I get fed up with selfish idiots parking where they cause potential danger, simply because they are too lazy (or possibly too stupid or fat) to walk a couple of yards. I see this all the time in Portswood and Bitterne Park Triangle in Southampton.

The other day someone had parked partly on the pavement, but also obstructing a cycle path and over a pedestrian crossing all at once and using only one car! Why had they done this? Because they could not be bothered to park in the available spaces and walk a couple of metres to the chip shop!

Just popping into a shop for a couple of minutes can seem like an age of frustration to other, more considerate road users. It can also present a serious issue to pedestrians, who are frequently forced to walk in the road (possibly with young children). It drove me bonkers when I used to have kids in a pushchair and I even had someone aggressively threaten me once, when I asked them to think about not parking on the pavement. I had two young children with me at the time, and so did not respond in kind, but instead reported the incident to the local police, who were very helpful.

Ellwood says...
12:05pm Fri 25 Jan 13

downfader says...Any statistical evidence to prove that they're issuing tickets wrongly..? ........... plenty actually. Tickets for parking infringements are issued erroneously every single day in this country, but you know as-well as I do that Bishop's Waltham is a special case, as it is administered by 'super-elite' traffic enforcement personnel who never make a mistake.
This issue has become a national epidemic. Do yourself a favour downfader..........g
o online and check around for the statistics yourself... it's not my place to educate you about this.

Ellwood says...
12:19pm Fri 25 Jan 13

........... on second thoughts...... http://www.guardian.
co.uk/money/2008/jan
/05/motoring.consume
raffairs1
....... here, help yerself! Quote from link: "Away from the capital, Harlow and Braintree in Essex, Maidstone in Kent, St Albans in Hertfordshire, and Slough are among the locations where drivers won 80%-plus of appeals. In Manchester the figure is 58%. Places where you are least likely to get your ticket cancelled include Reigate in Surrey (9%) and Winchester (20%).end quote

downfader says...
12:35pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Ellwood wrote:
........... on second thoughts...... http://www.guardian.

co.uk/money/2008/jan

/05/motoring.consume

raffairs1
....... here, help yerself! Quote from link: "Away from the capital, Harlow and Braintree in Essex, Maidstone in Kent, St Albans in Hertfordshire, and Slough are among the locations where drivers won 80%-plus of appeals. In Manchester the figure is 58%. Places where you are least likely to get your ticket cancelled include Reigate in Surrey (9%) and Winchester (20%).end quote
Thanks!

Taskforce 141 says...
12:37pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Parking is just fattening the public purse. In southampton wardens are directed to patrol the city centre as that generates a hell of a lot of revenue whilst estates suffer from the inconsiderate idiots who block roads, driveways and force disabled people in the road.

saintinpattaya says...
1:27pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Statistically someone has to like traffic wardens....I like most can't stand them. In fact I find them like parasites on a bonus for the more tickets they issue.
Get a job where you actually contribute to society you morons.
They deserve all the abuse they get.
Funny story this...lol.

Pikey-Biker says...
2:21pm Fri 25 Jan 13

I disagree, like all employees you get good ones and bad ones Traffic wardens are no different, they are only doing their job. Personally never had a problem because I’ve read the notices by the relevant parking bays.

Ellwood says...
3:07pm Fri 25 Jan 13

****-Biker wrote:
I disagree, like all employees you get good ones and bad ones Traffic wardens are no different, they are only doing their job. Personally never had a problem because I’ve read the notices by the relevant parking bays.
............ and there it is folks. The apologist for traffic enforcement officers who simply cannot or will not do their jobs properly.
"They're only doing their jobs" ...... absolutely pathetic.
If they did their jobs correctly in the first instance, it would severally reduce the impact of confrontation by a motoring public that is fast losing patience with these inept officials.

Pikey-Biker says...
3:25pm Fri 25 Jan 13

I am no apologist I just haven’t had a problem with them but if you disobey parking regulations then more fool you

Ellwood says...
3:30pm Fri 25 Jan 13

****-Biker wrote:
I am no apologist I just haven’t had a problem with them but if you disobey parking regulations then more fool you
****-Biker wrote: if you disobey parking regulations then more fool you........... precisely. Which is why I have as much sympathy for motorists who flout the regs and then whinge about it when caught, as I do for the traffic wardens who continually aggravate the situation with their incompetence and then moan about it..... none at all.

tootle says...
4:51pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Maybe, just maybe, they could do their job with an eye to providing a public service and being useful. Parked in an almost deserted car park at mid-day one Sunday before xmas, paid for a ticket and walked out just as the warden was writing a ticket out for somebody who'd not paid. They must have overstayed(parking being free Sun morning) by at least 1 minute. Now suppose the wardens or their watches were slightly out - I always compare my watch to the ticket machine!. As somebody else said they should target anti-social parking and should be banned from ticketing anybody in a car park or street for over-staying unless the car park or street is 75% full at the time. Of course they might require the intelligence to do the Maths.

D.a.v.e says...
5:59pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Urbane Forager wrote:
I support the traffic wardens in their work. If people are parked illegally, they should get a ticket and be fined. Just popping into a shop for a couple of minutes is hardly a valid excuse for obstructing the highway, is it?

I get fed up with selfish idiots parking where they cause potential danger, simply because they are too lazy (or possibly too stupid or fat) to walk a couple of yards. I see this all the time in Portswood and Bitterne Park Triangle in Southampton.

The other day someone had parked partly on the pavement, but also obstructing a cycle path and over a pedestrian crossing all at once and using only one car! Why had they done this? Because they could not be bothered to park in the available spaces and walk a couple of metres to the chip shop!

Just popping into a shop for a couple of minutes can seem like an age of frustration to other, more considerate road users. It can also present a serious issue to pedestrians, who are frequently forced to walk in the road (possibly with young children). It drove me bonkers when I used to have kids in a pushchair and I even had someone aggressively threaten me once, when I asked them to think about not parking on the pavement. I had two young children with me at the time, and so did not respond in kind, but instead reported the incident to the local police, who were very helpful.
You are absolutely right and there is no excuse for illegal parking but installing a cycle lane on cobden bridge doesn't help the local traders.

biggus2 says...
6:11pm Fri 25 Jan 13

As usual the lazy buggers who don't want to pay get upset when they get caught. Been motoring for more than 40 years never had a ticket.. If you stick to the regs they won't get any money and the councils will have to get rid of the wardens as not profitable. Same with speeders they don't like it when they get caught but are always quick to moan. So then they councils weren't getting enough money from parking so they introduced Residential Parking where you have to pay to park outside your own house.

Pikey-Biker says...
6:38pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Ellwood wrote:
****-Biker wrote: I disagree, like all employees you get good ones and bad ones Traffic wardens are no different, they are only doing their job. Personally never had a problem because I’ve read the notices by the relevant parking bays.
............ and there it is folks. The apologist for traffic enforcement officers who simply cannot or will not do their jobs properly. "They're only doing their jobs" ...... absolutely pathetic. If they did their jobs correctly in the first instance, it would severally reduce the impact of confrontation by a motoring public that is fast losing patience with these inept officials.
Please read more of the comments on this forum before you make a twit of yourself

mack chinnon says...
6:45pm Fri 25 Jan 13

I would love to be parking warden.

Ellwood says...
8:46pm Fri 25 Jan 13

****-Biker wrote:
Ellwood wrote:
****-Biker wrote: I disagree, like all employees you get good ones and bad ones Traffic wardens are no different, they are only doing their job. Personally never had a problem because I’ve read the notices by the relevant parking bays.
............ and there it is folks. The apologist for traffic enforcement officers who simply cannot or will not do their jobs properly. "They're only doing their jobs" ...... absolutely pathetic. If they did their jobs correctly in the first instance, it would severally reduce the impact of confrontation by a motoring public that is fast losing patience with these inept officials.
Please read more of the comments on this forum before you make a twit of yourself
.............. is that all you've got?

MiddleOfRoad says...
9:14pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Traffic Wardens, like all groups, have good, average and bad. In this respect they are no different to any other group. To categorise them collectively as low achievers doing a non-job is just sheer nonsense.
Yes there will be the odd occasion of silly booking which could have been resolved by discussion. However, the vast majority of tickets are because people have overstayed or illegally parked.
We all hate tickets but that's the risk you take when you disobey the road rules. Suck it up and just get on with it instead of trying to label Traffic Wardens as lowlifes. The alternative is to have gridlock 24/7.
I have always had a view that legislation should be enacted that makes it a specific offence to seriously abuse and threaten any public official for performing their official duties including a power of arrest if the threat or abuse causes the official to genuinely fear an assault or a major breach of the peace.
Then to a large extent the problem is reduced as most people slag off Traffic wardens and the like because they see them as powerless irritants.

Pikey-Biker says...
9:16pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Ellwood wrote:
****-Biker wrote:
Ellwood wrote:
****-Biker wrote: I disagree, like all employees you get good ones and bad ones Traffic wardens are no different, they are only doing their job. Personally never had a problem because I’ve read the notices by the relevant parking bays.
............ and there it is folks. The apologist for traffic enforcement officers who simply cannot or will not do their jobs properly. "They're only doing their jobs" ...... absolutely pathetic. If they did their jobs correctly in the first instance, it would severally reduce the impact of confrontation by a motoring public that is fast losing patience with these inept officials.
Please read more of the comments on this forum before you make a twit of yourself
.............. is that all you've got?
It all that was needed to make my point

Urbane Forager says...
9:24pm Fri 25 Jan 13

D.a.v.e wrote:
Urbane Forager wrote:
I support the traffic wardens in their work. If people are parked illegally, they should get a ticket and be fined. Just popping into a shop for a couple of minutes is hardly a valid excuse for obstructing the highway, is it?

I get fed up with selfish idiots parking where they cause potential danger, simply because they are too lazy (or possibly too stupid or fat) to walk a couple of yards. I see this all the time in Portswood and Bitterne Park Triangle in Southampton.

The other day someone had parked partly on the pavement, but also obstructing a cycle path and over a pedestrian crossing all at once and using only one car! Why had they done this? Because they could not be bothered to park in the available spaces and walk a couple of metres to the chip shop!

Just popping into a shop for a couple of minutes can seem like an age of frustration to other, more considerate road users. It can also present a serious issue to pedestrians, who are frequently forced to walk in the road (possibly with young children). It drove me bonkers when I used to have kids in a pushchair and I even had someone aggressively threaten me once, when I asked them to think about not parking on the pavement. I had two young children with me at the time, and so did not respond in kind, but instead reported the incident to the local police, who were very helpful.
You are absolutely right and there is no excuse for illegal parking but installing a cycle lane on cobden bridge doesn't help the local traders.
It might well do actually.

For instance, it makes it a lot easier to cycle to Portswood from Bitterne Park and back, it's quicker than driving now and far more convenient because you don't need to park.

It also prevents many of the adult idiots who cycle on the pavement over the bridge. Well, it doesn't actually prevent them, but it stops the pathetic excuses.

Most of the traders in the Bitterne Park Triangle are as you state "Local Traders", they are attended by locals, who by default don't need to drive to the local shops. Why would you drive to Bitterne Park shops if you were local to a different area? Although, there are several nail bars now I guess.

If you do need to drive to the local shops, possibly due to some problem, or being on route to somewhere else, you can still park legally and walk around the corner.

The simple fact is that we all need to drive less and walk/cycle more. It's not always possible, I know, but this discussion is about illegal parking.

I nearly always walk my kids to school and there is ALWAYS, somebody dropping kids off, out of a car, on the Yellow Zig Zags or parked like idiots on the double yellow lines of the road junctions. This is dangerous, inconsiderate and illegal, even if it is only for a moment.

If I was a traffic warden, I would nail these people every day until they stopped. I would not show the slightest remorse or sympathy. It is simply not necessary and there is no excuse for it.

fatzak says...
4:12pm Sun 27 Jan 13

Well I've heard some rubbish in my life but some of these comments are absurd....I've grown up in bishops Waltham for the last 30 years. Parking has always been a problem in bishops Waltham and it really annoys me when you can park in the carpark for free for an hour but people still park illegally as they need to pop in and get a paper or a pint of milk.
If it wasn't for parking enforcement it would be mayhem in the same way we have laws for speed and the way we conduct ourselves.

fatzak says...
4:20pm Sun 27 Jan 13

Urbane Forager wrote:
D.a.v.e wrote:
Urbane Forager wrote:
I support the traffic wardens in their work. If people are parked illegally, they should get a ticket and be fined. Just popping into a shop for a couple of minutes is hardly a valid excuse for obstructing the highway, is it?

I get fed up with selfish idiots parking where they cause potential danger, simply because they are too lazy (or possibly too stupid or fat) to walk a couple of yards. I see this all the time in Portswood and Bitterne Park Triangle in Southampton.

The other day someone had parked partly on the pavement, but also obstructing a cycle path and over a pedestrian crossing all at once and using only one car! Why had they done this? Because they could not be bothered to park in the available spaces and walk a couple of metres to the chip shop!

Just popping into a shop for a couple of minutes can seem like an age of frustration to other, more considerate road users. It can also present a serious issue to pedestrians, who are frequently forced to walk in the road (possibly with young children). It drove me bonkers when I used to have kids in a pushchair and I even had someone aggressively threaten me once, when I asked them to think about not parking on the pavement. I had two young children with me at the time, and so did not respond in kind, but instead reported the incident to the local police, who were very helpful.
You are absolutely right and there is no excuse for illegal parking but installing a cycle lane on cobden bridge doesn't help the local traders.
It might well do actually.

For instance, it makes it a lot easier to cycle to Portswood from Bitterne Park and back, it's quicker than driving now and far more convenient because you don't need to park.

It also prevents many of the adult idiots who cycle on the pavement over the bridge. Well, it doesn't actually prevent them, but it stops the pathetic excuses.

Most of the traders in the Bitterne Park Triangle are as you state "Local Traders", they are attended by locals, who by default don't need to drive to the local shops. Why would you drive to Bitterne Park shops if you were local to a different area? Although, there are several nail bars now I guess.

If you do need to drive to the local shops, possibly due to some problem, or being on route to somewhere else, you can still park legally and walk around the corner.

The simple fact is that we all need to drive less and walk/cycle more. It's not always possible, I know, but this discussion is about illegal parking.

I nearly always walk my kids to school and there is ALWAYS, somebody dropping kids off, out of a car, on the Yellow Zig Zags or parked like idiots on the double yellow lines of the road junctions. This is dangerous, inconsiderate and illegal, even if it is only for a moment.

If I was a traffic warden, I would nail these people every day until they stopped. I would not show the slightest remorse or sympathy. It is simply not necessary and there is no excuse for it.
I totally agree...wish there were more like you.

Niel says...
11:46am Mon 28 Jan 13

Forest Resident wrote:
Traffic Wardens can improve their image by reducing the patrolling of 'easy target' large car parks or town centre streets and instead visit residential areas where inconsiderate, obstructive, and illegal parking is a genuine problem for many local residents. Of course the revenue stream for the council may be reduced because of a lower number of fines, but as an elected body the council remain accountable to the public so they would do well to listen!
Part of this problem is that SOME council's, seduced by the promise of easy money, set targets for their wardens to hit, others 'let-out' the role to companies that set impossible targets for the wardens.

Given that WCC has a huge swathe of the county to do this over, it's no surprise some of their wardens are getting grief, the one's that make it to Wickham Square don't seem to be bothered about enforcement, the single motorcycle bay is often obstructed, but as the offender is either a friend of or a councillor or gives the wardens free coffee or something, they never bother ticketing that car, why else would they not enforce the rules, unless their getting a perk of some kind?

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