Author Topic: PARKING PROBLEMS IN PENHILL  (Read 25285 times)

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Offline Pandora

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PARKING PROBLEMS IN PENHILL
« on: February 22, 2008, 03:46:30 PM »
Hi
I wasnt quite sure where to post this, so I thought here would be the most approprate place.

It has come to my attention that there are many Penhill residents who have problems with parking.
This has come about due to more families owning cars, and some families own more than one car.

There are only so many cars you can park outside your home should there be no double yellow lines to enable you to do this.

I know that many residents who have applied for curtlage parking/ vehicle cross-overs etc have been refused approval as the measurements of their gardens do not meet the  minimum of the 4.8m requirement.

I did submit a question to the cabinet regardin the issue.

The question I submitted was as follows:

'Would the cabinet lead member agree with me the 4.8 metre rule on curtalidge parking spaces depth needs to be reviewed.
If so when will he resolve this long outstanding and overdue issue'.
 
There has been a lot of issues re: parking for many of the residents who live in the Penhill area.
Many of them would probably meet the 4.8 criteria if they were allowed diagonal parking bays/driveways etc.
Also many cars are smaller these days.
 
Please could you get back to me on this.


The answer I recieved was as follows:

Public Questions and Answers
Cabinet Meeting 13-02-2008



2   Lorna Breslin: Question

Would the cabinet lead member agree with me the 4.8 metre rule on curtalidge parking spaces depth needs to be reviewed? If so when will he resolve this long outstanding and overdue issue?  There has been a lot of issues re: parking for many of the residents who live in the Penhill area. Many of them would probably meet the 4.8 criteria if they were allowed diagonal parking bays/driveways etc. Also many cars are smaller these days.
 
Response

This matter was last reviewed in December 2005 when the the depth of curtilage required for residential parking was reduced from 5.2 metres to 4.8 metres and since then there has been no reason to review this matter.



Quote
This matter was last reviewed in December 2005 when the the depth of curtilage required for residential parking was reduced from 5.2 metres to 4.8 metres and since then there has been no reason to review this matter.

Well yes there is................!!!
If there isnt a reason to review the matter, I would not have asked the question in the first place.

You do not put questions regarding issues that affect your community forward to the cabinet if it was not an issue in the first place.

Well I am afraid to say, families get bigger, the kids grow up and pass their driving tests and before you know it, your household has two maybe three cars to park.

Now I actually went and measured a friend of mine's, garden to see if she would meet the criteria for a drive way. She did not when measuring straight on, however she did on the diagonal. Still she was refused. Now where she lives happens to be where the primary school is.There is a parking bay outside her house, but people who live in other streets park there as they cannot park in their own street.
Now my friend has to work certian hours just so as she can get out of her street without being blocked in in the morning (the street is used as a school run). Also she has to return home at a certain time to make sure she can park outside her house in her own street.

Now there are many other residents with similar issues on Penhill.
Is it at all possible that SBC could review the situation, and maybe allow curtlage parking on the diagonal if this did not affect cars over hanging onto footpaths etc?
Also the other option would be to number parking slots in bays and assign them to residents who apply for them and charge them the £3.10 per week on their rent as they would have to pay had they had a driveway.

I know that Cllr Glaholm is on the case as it is certainly an issue on our estate.

Now I have reason to believe that there are no national guidelines regarding the width of vehicle cross-overs or the area of in-curtilage parking. Meaning that the 4.8 rule/guideline is set locally by SBC.

So therefore if it is set by them, then they can if they wanted to review it and change it according to the needs of the residents that are appropriate to all.

                                                                         Pandora  >:D >:D



http://www.penhill.blogswindon.org/ I AM NOT WHERE I NEED TO BE, BUT THANK GOD, I AM NOT WHERE I USED TO BE.

Offline Alligator

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Re: PARKING PROBLEMS IN PENHILL
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2008, 04:57:23 PM »
I have questions.

I wasn't aware that this was something that you need planning permission for.

What, exactly, requires planning approval?

Is it the dropping of the kerb?, the removal of hedges/fences etc in order to be able to get the car onto your garden?, the laying of tarmac or gravel to park the car on?, or the need to cross the pavement in order to get your car off the road and onto your garden?  Is this because they're council houses?

My front garden has been paved at the front by the previous owners and I park my car there daily, although I do have to park at an angle, you could (and I have) get two cars in at a squeeze. 

However I doubt that my garden is 4.8 metres from the house to the edge of the pavement but I don't technically need to cross the pavement to get onto the garden as I live next to a private road and can access the driveway from there.

So what requires you to involve SBC at all?

Offline Pandora

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Re: PARKING PROBLEMS IN PENHILL
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2008, 06:14:45 PM »
Hi Alligator

Before I bought my house it was council property. We tried to do our own driveway but had a letter from SBC informing us that we had to apply for planning permission because I obviously needed a dropped kerb which I did get permission for and payed for it to be done privately.
I can fit two cars on my drive so I am very lucky.

However if you are a council tennant, you have to apply for curtlage parking/driveways.
If you are lucky enough to be appoved for a driveway (if your garden measures up to the required minimum measurement of 4.8m as set by the LA then they will put a driveway in for you and charge you £3.10per week on top of your rent.
I think the dropped kerb issue needs to be appoved by highways as it means if you have a driveway installed, then you are technically. driving over a public highway. (footpath).

The problem is many residents meet the required 4.8m on the diagonal but not on the straight. If the 4.8 guideline was reviewed and reduced as a result, then a lot more residents would be able to get their cars off the road which would result in less congestion on the roads, and a huge reduction in the amount of illeagal parking that goes on.
Many of the 'greem area's'/grass verges are being churned up by people parking on them in order to get their vehicles off the road.

Then again I suppose there is that small question of budget and funding etc.
However, all those £3.10's a week on the rents should add up.

                              Pandora >:D
http://www.penhill.blogswindon.org/ I AM NOT WHERE I NEED TO BE, BUT THANK GOD, I AM NOT WHERE I USED TO BE.

Offline Alligator

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Re: PARKING PROBLEMS IN PENHILL
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2008, 06:50:57 PM »
hmmn, it sounds to me like some jobsworth at SBC doing a little bit of job protection.  None of these considerations will be different simply because you're in Penhill or the Parks or anywhere else.  Strikes me that they do this because they can.

more questions I'm afraid....not directed to you Pandorra, but any passing councillors.

why do council tenents get treated differently to people in other parts of town?

why do they have to pay more rent if they are 'approved' for a drive, why not just charge a one off fee for the dropped kerb?

what does the £3.10 go towards?

surely any council(lors) that wants to stop the government charging council tenents a 28% 'tax' should be leading the way and set an example of how to treat all people with these issues the same way, whether a council tenent, private tenent or a home owner.

Offline Pandora

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Re: PARKING PROBLEMS IN PENHILL
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2008, 06:54:57 PM »
This is what I found in the SBC Tenacy Agreement Doc -   http://193.113.179.211/tenantsagreement.pdf

Quote
14. Parking of vehicles, caravans etc.

(i) You must not, without the written permission of the
Council:- park a car or other vehicle, or a caravan
or boat on any part of their homes, except on an
approved hardstanding.

(ii) You must not and must ensure that members of
his/her household, and visitors do not park
vehicles on footpaths, pavements, grassed verges,
greens or any other open area in or about the
estate.



And this if from the Tenants Hand Book Doc - http://193.113.179.211/housing/counciltenants/housing-tenantshandbook/housing-tenantshandbook-living.htm


Quote
f) Vehicles

Parking cars

If you do not have your own parking space, you may park anywhere it is legal to do so.

You must not spoil the environment (for example, by churning up grass verges).

If you have space for a driveway in your garden, you may be able to get permission to install a drive. (See section 5-1 Home improvements.)

Parking caravans and boats

You need to stand your caravan or boat on a hard surface, preferably separate from any driveway used for parking a car.

If this is a problem, contact your neighbourhood housing officer.

Repairing your vehicle?

You can carry out minor repairs to your own vehicles.

Please be considerate to your neighbours and the environment when you are carrying out repairs by keeping everywhere as tidy as possible and getting rid of used or old materials (such as oil and tyres) in the proper way. If you keep causing a nuisance, we can stop you from repairing cars.

Renting a garage

We rent out garages in many areas of the borough.

If you want to find out about renting a garage, contact the Lettings Section on 01793 463181.



I Hope this helps to give an understanding as to whats what re: being an SBC Tenant.

                                               Pandora  >:D >:D >:D






http://www.penhill.blogswindon.org/ I AM NOT WHERE I NEED TO BE, BUT THANK GOD, I AM NOT WHERE I USED TO BE.

Offline Alligator

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Re: PARKING PROBLEMS IN PENHILL
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2008, 07:00:33 PM »
It still leaves me with the question about why they do this with tenents, but not with anyone else.

The agreement and handbook does make some sense, I would want to be sure that no one could freely park a caravan outside their house if it was going to block out the light from my house, but I still think there should be one set of rules for all.

Offline Pandora

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Re: PARKING PROBLEMS IN PENHILL
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2008, 07:19:23 PM »
Hi Alligator

Yes I agree with what you are saying.
The tenants agreement and handbook applies to ALL SBC tenants from what ever area they reside in the Borough.

If you give me a while I will look in to it more and see what else I can find out.

                                Pandora  >:D >:D

                               
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Offline Mart

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Re: PARKING PROBLEMS IN PENHILL
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2008, 09:40:25 PM »
Wait until you find out what they want to charge to drop the kerb.

Hysterical.

You could probably drop a tectonic plate for less. (I did consider a line including knickers, but dropped it, ha ha)

sbc tend to be parking tossers, they kinda like cars, cos they open up revenue streams, but they also kinda hate them cos that is the green thing to do. The constant is the peculiar decisions undiluted by logic or measurement. Set aside a year before expecting a decision.

Lotsaluck.

Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Pandora

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Re: PARKING PROBLEMS IN PENHILL
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2008, 10:33:36 PM »
When I got planning permission for my driveway and dropped kerb,
It cost me £350 for Gibbs Tarmac to drop the kerb and Tarmac the cross-over onto the Hard standing/driveway which we did ourselves.

That was around 8 or more years ago.
Gibbs Tarmac was one of the companies recommended on the paperwork I got sent to me from Premier House.

I do not know what it costs now.

However, when I lived in my flat in Lower Penhill, the council went round and put in driveways back then. (this was roughly around the late 1980's early 1990's)
Infact I think it was around the time that 'Abbeymeads' was being built. (I was a field away so to speak back then lol).

I think parking is and always will be an issue all over Swindon.

I believe and correct me if I am wrong, that the houses on the Penhill Estate were built in the 1950's. Well back in the 50's you were lucky to own a car.
As the decades go by, there a more people with cars and when the kids grow up and leave school, they get to the age where they want to learn to drive, and hey presto, another driver/car owner is born.

I think the problem will get worse as time goes on.

The amount of grass verges that get churned up into a muddy mess is terrible.
If the 4.8 requirement could be reviewed and amended then this would make a lot of residents very happy.
It would get cas off the roads, allow car owners to know that their vehicles were parked safely (cheaper insurance!)
and the grass verges would be exactly that 'grass verges' instead of churned up muddy quagmires.

Its certainly an issue that will not go away over night.
I think that what happens is that some residents who do not meet the required 4.8m and have their applications for driveways turned down, they tend to just accept it and think well thats it and give up.

I would be well P'D off if mine measured 4.6m and I was turned down because it didnt make the 4.8m.
I think that as long as the vehicle does not overhang onto the puplic footpath then SBC should use their discretion.
However in saying this, then there would be the argument as to the fact that 'what if the resident puchases a bigger vehicle'.

There needs to be a solution to this issue that keeps everyone happy with a bit of give and take on both sides.

People need to talk to each other, and instead of SBC saying :

Quote
This matter was last reviewed in December 2005 when the the depth of curtilage required
for residential parking was reduced from 5.2 metres to 4.8 metres and
since then there has been no reason to review this matter.

well I say we are now in 2008 and with an ever growing population of motorists of the increase, then YES, you do need to review the situation again.
I do not mean just for Penhill, I mean for everywhere. I use Penhill as an example because Its where I live and have done for over 20years and I am well aware of the problems and issues within my community and curtilage parking just happens to be one of them.

                                                                      Pandora  >:D >:D

http://www.penhill.blogswindon.org/ I AM NOT WHERE I NEED TO BE, BUT THANK GOD, I AM NOT WHERE I USED TO BE.

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: PARKING PROBLEMS IN PENHILL
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2008, 01:53:56 PM »


I think the problem will get worse as time goes on.

Yup, and the worse it gets the more likely it is that Penhill will either have to convert some green space into parking spaces or become Zone 'PH' of the residents parking scheme.  :-X

Offline Pandora

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Re: PARKING PROBLEMS IN PENHILL
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2008, 05:23:27 PM »
Hi Geoff 



I think the problem will get worse as time goes on.

Yup, and the worse it gets the more likely it is that Penhill will either have to convert some green space into parking spaces or become Zone 'PH' of the residents parking scheme.  :-X


It says it all really doesnt it !  :-X  :-X   :-X

                                                                     Pandora  >:D >:D
http://www.penhill.blogswindon.org/ I AM NOT WHERE I NEED TO BE, BUT THANK GOD, I AM NOT WHERE I USED TO BE.

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Re: PARKING PROBLEMS IN PENHILL
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2008, 07:03:07 PM »
I was one of Penhill’s councillors when the rules were changed in 2005. At the time there were some other changes as well, mainly the distance at which you needed to be from a road before being allowed a dropped kerb and vehicle crossing.

However there are a few points raised so far which I can enlighten you upon.

The planning permission is from the highways department for a vehicle crossing. They make sure that where you want to install the dropped kerb is safe and appropriate, e.g. not on a bend or likely to cause a danger.

There also has to be a check on what services are under the area that you want a vehicle crossing. The contractor installing the crossing will be responsible for also ensuring that any services that need moving or need dropping deeper are done so. Gas, water, electric etc are normally piped under grass verges and pavements and they are not always as deep as you might think. One of the reasons that they claim they cannot widen Penhill Drive is because of the service pipes and lines that are underneath the grass verge all the way round and the high cost of moving them. Normally the depth of pavements are not considered sufficient to withstand the weight of a vehicle being driven over them without causing them to sink and therefore most pavements have to be dug out to a greater depth for a vehicle crossing.

The distance limit from the road used to be in place because of the issue of maintenance responsibility. Just because a house-holder had a vehicle crossing put in didn’t mean that they would be responsible for it’s maintenance or liable should someone have an accident whilst on it. For example if someone’s vehicle crossing became cracked and raised and then a member of the public walking along it trips who is legally responsible? It’s not a council highway but also is not owned by the person who has use of it to cross over onto their property. A point which most people don’t realise is that, in most cases, the vehicle crossing is just that “a vehicle crossing” and house holders who use the space as an extra parking space could be issued with a fixed penalty notice. There are some exceptions to this but you would have to look at what permission was given in relation to the vehicle crossing.

Like many I never understood the reason for having to have a certain size garden previous to permission being granted. However looking around the estate you can see why it is important. Just look round Penhill Drive and you’ll see certain home owners who regularly have their vehicles parked a) extending from their garden over the pavement whilst trying to get more than one vehicle on the drive b) car parked on the vehicle crossing with part of the vehicle extending over the pavement (The pavement opposite Penhill Surgery was widened for just this reason) There is even an instance where a caravan “A” frame extends onto the pavement. Pavements are narrow and hazardous enough without being made even narrower or hazardous by illegally parked cars or caravans etc.

In order to prevent this, the council task group, which I believe was chaired by Cllr David Wren, recommended the amendment of 4.8m from 5.2m. I did suggest that common sense should prevail in these matters and it would be much easier to simply make the rule “Vehicles must be parked totally within the confines of the property and must not in any part extend onto public footpaths or the highway.” I also suggested that anyone parking as such should receive a fixed penalty ticket. Unfortunately, as many will know, common sense doesn’t go down well in the council and therefore my idea was ignored.  :bash:

The rules are not just for tenants but anyone wishing to put in parking on their property. These days all new properties must provide parking and in many cases more than just one parking slot per property.

The cost of installing some of the dropped kerbs and curtilage parking around Penhill Drive for tenant cost in excess of £2000 which the housing department paid for as part of the curtilage parking programme. SBC rules was that Swindon Commercial Services had to be used and that’s why the money ran out.  :coffee: :bash:

You may notice when they completely re-installed the pavement on Ramsbury they put in dropped kerbs even for houses that didn’t have driveways. This was at my suggestion because it’s easier and costs very little to do this when re-installing the pavement. It will make installing driveways later much easier and cheaper. (I know… common sense)

Parking is an issue all over the country not just in Swindon or on estates like Penhill. The answers are not easy as in many areas there just isn’t the space to park your vehicle. Just look at the roads in the town centre or places like Rodbourne, narrow roads that were never designed for the amount of cars we have on them. Maybe one day it will come to a point that before you can even own a car you will have to provide evidence as to where it will be parked etc…?    >:(  :(  :'(
As for Penhill and estates like ours….. there’s a lot small green spaces, wide verges etc that could accommodate a few cars. Where the need is identified then the council could identify who would be willing to contribute towards the conversion of these plots of land into suitable parking areas. This contribution may be a case of someone prepared to rent the parking slot once it’s been installed or maybe a group of house-owners along with SBC housing could purchase and develop a strip of land for dedicated property parking. For homeowners dedicated parking space is a definite selling point in hard to park areas. The options are there it just takes a bit of imagination and willing Councillors and officers to make it happen.  (Opps nearly got hit by a flying pig..…)

ATB

Andy

Offline Pandora

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Re: PARKING PROBLEMS IN PENHILL
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2008, 08:05:37 PM »
Hi Andy

Well thank you for sharing this.

I do agree with a lot of what you are saying 'Common Sense' being the key word!!

Thanks Andy
                                     Pandora  >:D >:D
http://www.penhill.blogswindon.org/ I AM NOT WHERE I NEED TO BE, BUT THANK GOD, I AM NOT WHERE I USED TO BE.

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: PARKING PROBLEMS IN PENHILL
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2008, 09:44:55 AM »

A comprehensive and informative answer Mr H, thank you  :)

Offline Peter Mallinson

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Re: PARKING PROBLEMS IN PENHILL
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2008, 02:17:12 PM »
I have just returned from speaking to some tenants in Whitbourn Avenue, Park North.  They have exactly the same problems, no parking outside of their propertiesbecause of double yellow lines but very wide grass verges.  Needless to say the grass is badly churned up by the parked cars with the consequence that mud is everywhere. 

This problem is not unique to Penhill.

Offline Pandora

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Re: PARKING PROBLEMS IN PENHILL
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2008, 05:33:57 PM »
Hi

Yes I know the problem is not unique to Penhill and that the same problem crops up in areas all
over Swindon.

I spoke about Penhill specifically because it is the community that I live in.
I have no doubt that the same problems occur in other areas, but as I said, I live in Penhill
and it is an issue there at the moment. An issue for my neighbours and people in my community.

I do not live in the Parks area although I have relatives that do, and I am well aware that
this problem is not unique to Penhill.

However, if this being the case that the problem is quite widespread over different areas of Swindon,
then surely this is an Issue worth looking at and reviewing is it not?

                                                       Pandora  >:D >:D


http://www.penhill.blogswindon.org/ I AM NOT WHERE I NEED TO BE, BUT THANK GOD, I AM NOT WHERE I USED TO BE.

Offline Pandora

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Re: PARKING PROBLEMS IN PENHILL
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2008, 05:55:26 PM »
Hi Peter

I have just returned from speaking to some tenants in Whitbourn Avenue, Park North.  They have exactly the same problems, no parking outside of their propertiesbecause of double yellow lines but very wide grass verges.  Needless to say the grass is badly churned up by the parked cars with the consequence that mud is everywhere. 

This problem is not unique to Penhill.

Without a doubt this problem like you said is not unique to Penhill.
As I have already mentioned in my previous post, I mentioned Penhill specifically
as we do have problems re: Driveways/parking and grass verges being churned up etc.
And I live on the estate, and talk to people in the community.

Now you said you spoke to some tenants in Whitbourn Avenue, Park North. - who have the same problems.
Now when this problem is cropping up in areas all over Swindon, then it becomes an issue.

How do you deal with the issue?.............well you look at the underlying cause.
e.g. people being refused driveways because they do not quite meet the 4.8m rule.
more cars than parking bays etc.

Once you review the situation, then surley solutions need to be sought and the issues addressed.
This is just the tip of the iceberg and if not resolved in the very near future, mark my words, the problems
will escalate.

So Cllr Mallinson........................ what do you suggest?
Have you any thoughts on as to how this situation could be improved/resolved etc?

                                                   Pandora  >:D >:D
http://www.penhill.blogswindon.org/ I AM NOT WHERE I NEED TO BE, BUT THANK GOD, I AM NOT WHERE I USED TO BE.

Offline Lilly

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Re: PARKING PROBLEMS IN PENHILL
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2008, 06:30:46 PM »
My front garden is just a whisper under the required 4.8 rule. Really, The measurement wasn't even 1/2 ft short from my garden wall to the front of my house, but lengthways I would be able to swing my car in and park parallel to my house but because of the rule I can't have a driveway. I had to get a garage instead as where I am allowed to park is always full.

I am happy with my decision to do that but there are people out there who don't have the luxury or availability of a garage near their home.

I agree Swindon has become a wilderness as far as parking spaces are concerned. I might just get a bike.

 :D
L Jones - Crazy laydee

Offline Mart

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Re: PARKING PROBLEMS IN PENHILL
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2008, 07:01:19 PM »
Average car length according to Highway Code is 4m, this is probably the measurement for french cars. If converted into feet it can be applied to English cars.

That said I have no idea when it was last reviewed, and given the amount of city cars and shorty little hatchbacks it may even be a bit generous.

I reckon if your car fits you entirely inside the boundary of your property you should be able to to do it. I miss the old Ford Cortina up on milk crates, which may in fact be what they are trying to avoid come to think of it.

Try as they might the car will not be legislated off the roads for a few years yet, it would be like the Elizabethans trying to ban the horse, and I am sorry but public transport does not fit the requirements for a chunk of the travel we do now, it's pricey as well unless you are travelling on Shrove Tuesday at 03:15 dressed as a Morris Dancer and have purchased an Intercontinental City Saver Student OAP Great Western Virgin photocard and are carrying a qualifying vole, and do not plan to return before the goat entrails indicate it would be favourable to do so. Engineering works permitting.

So, like it or not, the car rules, cater for it in as an environmentally friendly way as you can.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Lilly

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Re: PARKING PROBLEMS IN PENHILL
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2008, 07:15:05 PM »

 it's pricey as well unless you are travelling on Shrove Tuesday at 03:15 dressed as a Morris Dancer and have purchased an Intercontinental City Saver Student OAP Great Western Virgin photocard and are carrying a qualifying vole, and do not plan to return before the goat entrails indicate it would be favourable to do so. Engineering works permitting.

 
I  got one of those tickets once but they wouldn't let me on the bus as I didn't know the correct secret handshake, oh and I forgot my tamborine.
L Jones - Crazy laydee