Published at 09:10, Monday, 06 August 2012
I AM writing about the new stricter enforcement of parking restrictions in Hexham.
I feel strongly that when a town such as Hexham, that relies on custom from its rural hinterland, makes a transition to a stronger enforcement regime, there needs to be either a policy of providing clear written warnings on signage (as is done in a city such as Newcastle) or a period of grace, in which occasional visitors unaware of the new system receive a warning but no fine.
The reason is the ease with which the negative emotional reaction caused by receiving an unexpected high fine transfers to one's feelings about using the town generally.
My fine, received on Wednesday, was for £35 if paid within 14 days, rising to £70 thereafter, and was for parking in a place I had been accustomed to using over the last six years, alongside other motorists, with no apparent inconvenience to anyone.
As a result I am disinclined to use the town for shopping for the foreseeable future.
I have plenty of other choices for places to shop and I will no longer take enjoyment from shopping in a place where unsuspecting motorists are stung in a kind of scam designed, no doubt, to top up council funding shortfalls.
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk