Let’s have proper clampdown on illegal parking across town

Parking tickets serve an important purpose.

Parking tickets serve an important purpose. - Credit: PA

A few days ago it was revealed that Ipswich council had raised £1million from parking fines over the last three years.

Frankly I am appalled. It is nowhere near enough!

Given the numbers of cars parked illegally around the town, there should be much more money raised – some of which could go towards employing more parking wardens, creating new jobs. Win. Win!

I am so fed up with having to dodge illegally-parked cars and vans along Norwich Road during evening rush-hour as their occupants use the shops and cafés.

There is a reason there are double yellow lines along Norwich Road. They’re there to keep traffic moving along one of the busiest roads into and out of the town centre.

Whatever Eric Pickles might think, they serve a really useful purpose. They aren’t there just to frustrate lazy shoppers who are incapable of walking more than 10 yards!

Which brings me on to the subject of the local government secretary, a politician who seems to have an uncanny ability to cause controversy when he opens his mouth.

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Mr Pickles has been complaining about councils treating drivers who park illegally as “cash cows”. What rubbish!

Why on earth shouldn’t councils punish drivers who break the law by parking illegally – even if it is only for 15 minutes while they pick up a chicken tikka massala from their favourite takeaway?

Yellow, and double yellow, lines are put on roads for a purpose – to keep the traffic flowing. If you park on these lines you cause an obstruction, even if it is only for a few minutes.It’s not easy to get these lines put down – just ask anyone who has asked a council for parking restrictions outside their home.

His other crusade has been against councils who do not collect non-recyclable waste every week.

I cannot really work out where this obsession comes from – I can only imagine he once read a moan in the Daily Mail from a yummy mummy in Chelsea who objected to the fact that little Jocastra’s nappies weren’t taken away every week.

I have to say I have never had any reader from anywhere in our circulation area complaining to me that recycling bins and non-recycling bins are collected on alternate weeks.

When I have heard comments about waste collections, it is mainly about why can’t this or that be put in the recycling bins because they can be in the neighbouring district.

Of course Mr Pickles, as a former northern grammar school boy, is a welcome counterweight to the Old Etonians in the cabinet, and is clearly a clever man to have reached such an exalted height.

I just wish his comments were more sensible and less of a grab for a headline.