Please forgive the following rant.
We live in a world of bright and simple colours.
Fire engines are red. With blue lights. Rail workers wear bright orange for visibility. Labour are the red horde, Tories a club of truest blue, Lib Dems are yellow (or if we’re being cruel, practically invisible) and there appears to be a fourth these days, a society replete with deeply purple members.
But the colour I see so much of recently is yellow. Did someone over order in a local authority depot? Yellow paint in double lines, and a taxi bay outline have appeared on the small section of service road in Aldridge that serves such culinary delights as The Avion, Hong Kong takeaway and that perennial award winning purveyor of fried fish the Aldridge Chippy.
Yellow lines, marked parking bays and a taxi bay. I live in a Tory stronghold in a nearly-but-not-quite Labour local Council. Their staff however, are slowly painting the road Liberal Democrat.
I’m not entirely surprised but I am a little disappointed. I have been driving nearly twenty years, with varying degrees of success. I was taught (and I know drivers are taught now) that a key rule of the road is “Don’t be a muppet.” which is a close translation from the original Highway Code (1931). The new lines are a deterrent to the foolish who would otherwise park without due consideration.
Here’s the rub: those who are likely to ignore this central precept about not being a muppet are the same fools most likely to park on double yellows. Of course these lines are nearly opposite the Police station, so I expect there will be a fair amount of activity dealing with minor parking infractions. Much more than, say, outside Tesco Express.
I wouldn’t mind the paint if I believed for a minute that it would improve matters. It won’t – the only achievement is to heavily restrict parking space without making significant improvements either to traffic flow or the ease of reversing from the frontages of the shops. Customers will avoid businesses on that road if they can’t park. I have driven away without stopping more than once when there was nowhere to stick the motor, because frankly there are other chippies, and pubs come to that. Those unable to park on that stretch of road will occupy the “time limited” Morrisons car park, or the small place opposite by NatWest, or just go elsewhere.
In the same way that parking restrictions elsewhere in the town centre restrict the options for the reasonable and law-abiding and continue to be ignored by the ignorant, so it will be here, and nothing will be gained.
“Double Yellows” by Steven Mills, via Flickr. https://flic.kr/p/4Hc6iQ