There are no traffic wardens in Aberystwyth. We’re the only town in Britain without traffic wardens.
So basically, parking rules were enforced by the police and they’re skint so they scrapped the three traffic wardens we did have believing the council would take over. The council will, but not until this summer (apparently), so it’s been almost a year without traffic wardens in the town.
What some thought would be an “interesting experiment” has produced the following results. We’re all children and incapable of acting maturely. The parking situation has basically gone insane. Within weeks it was bad enough, after a couple of months there was a punch up and then a lorry hit a building trying to get around a corner where someone had parked on the corner. I would’ve thought people would be mature and sensible about parking. Or at least sensible, but, no, they’re just…twats.
It’s really the best way to describe it.
If there’s an open space, or a free pavement, or basically anywhere, they’ll be a car in it. I have to walk in the road at least three times a week to get round cars. And once a month at least I tell a bus driver he should just ram aside the car parked in the bus bay. There are always cars in the bus bays. Or on corners. Or randomly in the middle of the street. The police do deal with the worst offences, when there are huge blockages of the roads, but mostly it’s just stationary cars everywhere.
The local newspaper, The Cambrian News (don’t bother with the website, it’s a navigational nightmare), has a page or photos of bad and dangerous parking every week entitled ‘Streets Of Shame’. It’s the best bit of the newspaper. One week there was no Streets of Shame and I almost wrote in and complained.
The thing is that most of the problems are caused by locals who should know better. If lorries can’t get around corners, can’t get to their drop-off points, deliveries can’t be made on time and this effects our local economy, one that is struggling enough at the moment (I wrote about the number of shops closing here in January). And if tourists can’t get anywhere or park anywhere because we have parked everywhere, then they can’t stop to look at shops and buy things. Half of the trade is tourists (the other half students), it’s a tourist town, they provide the income, the shops, the reasons the council do any work on the place (the students suffer, but the council will repave the high-street for the tourists). No one seems to have thought about the effect they’re having on the town in the long term, just so they can park outside a shop to pick up the paper or whatever.
And that doesn’t even begin to cover the danger of it all….
They should be back soon though, hopefully. Whoever thought they would be missed?