Wednesday, 27 June 2007

How many eejits does it take to run a council?

Parking Meter
Originally uploaded by adambowie
Quite a few, in the case of Westminster, it would seem.

Whilst the media focus was on other aspects of politics in the area, the council were busy being generally daft. They've come up with a wonderful (*ahem*) new idea for replacing parking meters. Instead of putting coins in a machine next to the parking space, you phone up a number, enter your credit card details, and a code for the area that you're parked in.

Aside from the bleedin' obvious issues of 'what if you don't have a mobile phone?' and 'what if you don't have a credit card?', there is just so much wrong with this idea. What if the number's constantly busy? What if the system that's supposed to update the attendants' hand held computers crashes? (Do you really think motorists will be given the benefit of the doubt?) The article says that for those without mobiles can use a pay and display system nearby, but a TV news report I saw said that this would also be card based. Never mind the fact that it's not especially difficult to use an intercepting device to obtain information from mobile phone calls, and thus obtain someone's card details. I must say, it takes quite a lot of skill to devise a scheme so thoroughly riddled with problems.

Oh, and I also found out that a friend who organised a charity concert at St John's, Smith Square, has had £250 deducted from the proceeds by the very same council, on the grounds that they were 15 minutes past the end of the license when they were packing away equipment. Niiiiice.

PS. I must say, I am amazed at just how many photos of parking meters there are on Flickr's Creative Commons site!

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