LET'S be honest – we have a hard enough time keeping the inside of our home tidy that we rarely give the exterior a second…
A driver blocked in by "selfish and stupid" parking issued a car owner a £385 invoice after claiming he lost a day’s wages.
Stuart Barber slammed recently installed yellow lines and a lack of council parking permits which he said already make life on his street is an “absolute nightmare”.
However, he was further enraged when he left for work last Wednesday morning to find a car parked in a "stupid and selfish manner" just inches away from his van, sandwiching him in, reports the Hertfordshire Mercury .
Deciding to take matters into his own hands, Stuart, from Bishop’s Stortford, drew up a DIY invoice demanding payment of £385 — reduced to £192.50 if paid within seven days — and posted it on the car’s windscreen.
“I put it on there a bit tongue in cheek and I didn’t expect anyone to pay it but you get to the point where you have to start making a stand,” he explained.
“We just have a really serious parking problem on Rhodes Avenue. Every other road within one mile of the town centre has parking permits for residents and we’ve got nothing.
“Every morning is an absolute rat race with idiot commuters and office workers in Stortford and people going to Stansted on their holidays.
“You come out in the morning and you’ve got people sat there waiting, flashing their lights at you to move.
“I’ve had people parking across the bottom of my drive blocking me in for days while they’ve gone on holiday. It’s madness."
The 50-year-old said he had purposefully parked close to the car behind him — which belongs to his son, who was away at the time — in order to give another person space to park in front of him, before the yellow lines begin.
But despite this he said the “inconsiderate” driver chose to park nose-to-nose with him, leaving a gap of up to four feet behind them.
After calling the police — a move he said he often has to resort to — to report that he had been blocked in, Stuart was left further dismayed by their response.
He said: “Normally the police are cool, they ask the registration number and then call them up and say ‘you are blocking someone, you need to move’.
“This time they called me up and said ‘sorry we can’t find a number for the person’ which is fine.
“But then I get a phone call from a PCSO and she was fuming. She said I can’t invoice people for parking and that it was my fault for backing up against my son, and she removed the invoice.
“I want to know why they took the invoice away because I haven’t done anything wrong and I will be asking the chief constable why that has happened.”
According to Stuart, residents frequently suffer verbal abuse by drivers keen to bag themselves a spot for the day.
Some taxi drivers, he continued, leave their personal vehicles or taxis there at all times swapping them at the start and end of each day, while workers from construction sites in the town centre park their vans in dangerous locations, causing a hazard to oncoming traffic.
He continued: “People come home, they have their kids, they have their shopping, and there’s nowhere to park and it’s just frustrating.
“There are old people in this street who are isolated now. They don’t receive visits from family or friends because there’s nowhere to park and they don’t want to walk all the way in from town.
“We accept the fact that we are in an area without controlled parking but when people park like d**** there’s no excuse.
“You just think ‘I wouldn’t dream of doing that’.
“People are so selfish and extremely rude — the amount of residents who have had mouthfuls off them is ridiculous.
“I’ve been told to f*** off a number of times, and my partner has been sworn at too.
“The lack of support or empathy from the council and the police just makes it worse.”
A spokeswoman for Hertfordshire Constabulary said: "Police were called at 12.16pm on Wednesday, April 18 to reports of a parking dispute in Rhodes Avenue, Bishop’s Stortford.
"It was reported that a silver Dodge Caliber had parked in such a position that a resident was unable to move their vehicle.
"An officer attended to speak to the reporting party and standard checks were carried out.
"It was established that no vehicles were parked illegally or dangerously and as such there was no lawful reason for police to remove the vehicle.
"Police can only intervene with regards to parking issues if a vehicle has caused an obstruction that is considered to be a hazard to other road users or pedestrians.
"For example, a vehicle may have been parked on a bend on the carriageway or at a junction, creating a safety hazard to other users; it may have been parked across a footway blocking free passage to pedestrians, particularly those using mobility scooters or with push chairs; or a vehicle may have been parked in front of a driveway blocking access to private or public property.
"However the enforcement of yellow lines, time-limited waiting and other parking restrictions in Hertfordshire is entirely the responsibility of the local authorities and their civil enforcement officers."
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