Nosy Parker

July 13, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Currently, there is more than one car per UK household. Around 50% of us, therefore, own a car, and most of us use it to drive to work. In Tenterden, where I work, parking is at a real premium: there are just four town car parks & the average cost is £1 an hour. Whilst the national average salary for a full-time worker was £26,200 last year, 46% of UK residents earn less than £20000 annually.

As I fall into that latter category, I choose to avoid paying ridiculous amounts for parking in a council car park, and find a space instead in a residential area (I shan’t name it here, it’s pointless for most of you, but those who frequent Tenterden will know exactly where I’m talking about). Let me make two points absolutely clear. Firstly, I am forced to do this: my earnings simply do not allow for parking expenditure, but I have to drive here because I live 42 miles away and Tenterden’s transport connections are appalling. Secondly, as the law states, your owning a property in a road does not give you automatic parking rights either outside your own property or elsewhere in that road. Where I live, you are required to have a parking permit if you wish to park for more than 2 hours. But I’ll say it again: in the same way in which I would have no more right to park there than a non-resident, were there no parking restrictions, my owning a permit gives me no more right to park there than a non-permit holder.

So, as you can imagine, it made me rather angry today when, after I declined his suggestion to park elsewhere, a resident of this Tenterden estate spat on me for parking there. Not only is that abuse, it is also suggesting that he has more right to park there than I do. This is rubbish. Don’t like it? Move elsewhere or put up with it. He made his choice when he moved there, knowing it is a popular place to park in Tenterden. Unlike me, and presumably most of the other people who park there: because financially, we have no other option.

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  1. I have to agree with you: much of what you say is verifiably true and the rest is inferred very reasonably from the first.

    When I first met my partner, she lived next door to an obsessive-compulsive who put a note under a windscreen wiper on my car the first time that I parked in front of this neighbour’s house. She had to park in front of our house: in other words, one car’s length from where she would normally. To some degree, many other people seem to feel the same way. There is also a widespread folk belief that the law must be whatever suits the interest of the person speaking at the time. The prevalence of this belief cuts right across boundaries of social class. The temptation deliberately to park in front of this woman’s house just to get up her nose was strong, but I am glad to say that I managed to suppress it.

    • You were more restrained than I would have been! Many people suggest that we should respect people’s parking wishes, but why should this go any further than not parking across driveways? When you buy a house, you don’t buy the road outside also.


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