Published: 1 June, 2012
• INCREDIBLY, we learn that Islington overturned more than 57,000 parking tickets last year, out of 95,000 disputed – both numbers the highest of any London borough. This is not so strange when we also hear that Islington issued the highest number of parking tickets in London in 2011, apparently overtaking the usual suspect in these matters, Westminster.
This is not to suggest that this borough has a far greater problem with illegal parking and traffic congestion than more central Westminster, with all the activity that goes on in the West End and surrounding areas. No, it’s more to do with the new Islington enforcement system, where the number of foot patrols has been reduced to save money and avoid confrontations with motorists.
Instead, a much smaller team of car-borne and scooter-borne wardens drives around issuing far more tickets than a whole army of walking wardens could achieve; where observation times have been reduced to nil; and where Islington’s “common sense on parking” policy adopted by the previous Lib Dem administration has been completely abandoned.
The mind boggles at the cost in man hours of a back office having to deal with nearly 2,000 ticket appeals every week, for tickets issued by aggressive, trigger-happy wardens under constant pressure from their NSL employer to achieve ever-higher targets at each shift.
Perhaps hard-pressed council tax-payers should be informed of the cost of this largely time-wasting operation; and perhaps motorists in Islington should be entitled to a return to a fairer and more sensible approach to parking by the council, as has been adopted by most other London boroughs.
Highbury Park, N5