Page last updated at 14:52 GMT, Thursday, 24 December 2009

Humbugs for 'Scrooge' councillors

Traffic warden issuing ticket in London
Getting a ticket is unlikely to leave you full of festive cheer

A motorists' group angry about the decision of "Scrooge-like" councils to issue tickets on Boxing Day has given a bag of humbugs to one authority.

Fifteen out of 32 London councils are not recognising 26 December as a bank holiday and will charge as usual.

To protest, London Motorists Action Group (LMAG) has given Westminster Council - with London's highest parking revenue - a bag of mint humbugs.

The council said 26 December is one of the year's busiest shopping days.

But LMAG Director Richard Chaumeton said: "Westminster is the biggest council and should be leading by example and make Boxing Day parking free out of a spirit of goodwill.

"The councillors' Ebenezer Scrooge-like attitude conveys an impression of money-grabbing greed."

Mr Chaumeton added: "We hope they enjoy their humbugs - courtesy of LMAG."


This smacks more of opportunism rather than a desire to keep traffic moving

Neil Herron
Parking campaigner

The catchphrase of Charles Dickens' famous Christmas-hating miser Ebenezer Scrooge was: "Bah humbug!"

Westminster Council made £72m from parking last year, more than any other London borough.

Kevin Goad, Westminster Council's head of parking, said: "We understand parking enforcement is not popular but it is necessary - particularly on Boxing Day which is one of the busiest shopping days.

"Normal parking controls will apply on 26 December as it is not a bank holiday.

"We will be offering free parking to motorists on 28 December instead."

Meanwhile Neil Herron, who runs the Parking Appeals website, has promised his services free of charge to anyone ticketed on Saturday.

Of the decision to charge, Mr Herron said: "With all public buildings closed on what is widely regarded as a public holiday by all, this smacks more of opportunism rather than a desire to keep traffic moving."

The following London councils will charge for parking on Saturday:

  • Barking and Dagenham
  • Barnet
  • Bexley
  • Brent
  • Bromley
  • Ealing
  • Enfield
  • Hammersmith and Fulham
  • Haringey
  • Harrow
  • Havering
  • Kensington and Chelsea
  • Kingston-upon-Thames
  • Newham
  • Redbridge


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SEE ALSO
Boxing Day parking fines planned
10 Dec 09 |  London
A third as many wardens as police
31 Jul 09 |  London
Outrage over parking 'vultures'
03 Jul 09 |  London
'People power' wins parking fight
19 Jun 09 |  London
40m hike of 'fair' parking rules
18 Jun 09 |  London

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