last Wednesday’s Public Realm meeting, councillor Craske mentioned in passing
his plan to inflict a telephone based charging system for parking in Bexley. He first
mentioned it in the Strategy 2014 document and claimed such a system would save £30,000
a year. If is not an additional service but a ‘cheap’ replacement for parking meters intended
to complicate payment for parking and involve the public in additional hidden costs.
The lady who reported the installation and subsequent removal of new parking signs in Townley Road has sent an update on the situation there. Notices have been put up to the effect that payment will shortly switch to credit card and mobile phone. What happens if you don’t have a mobile phone asks my lady informant, adding that she doesn’t have one? Another lady, this time from Orpington, tells me that when the system was introduced there it was not a success and had to be augmented with more traditional payment systems. The problem with Craske’s idea, even if you have a mobile phone and credit card and would trust Craske with the number, is that it only needs someone to transpose a number and you will get a fine. No wonder Craske is in favour.
The lady is not alone in not having a mobile telephone, neither have I but I doubt the new charging system will affect me as it must be at least ten years ago that I decided to avoid shopping anywhere in Bexley because of its unfriendly attitude to motorists. This won’t make me popular among Bexleys business community but I estimate that no more than £150 of my money has gone their way this year. In part that is because I live near the boundary with Greenwich and the nearest shop I need is in Greenwich as is the nearest Post Office, railway station and supermarket. It is so much easier to spend money elsewhere. Craske will end up killing this town with his desire to screw motorists at every opportunity. I did make an exception two years ago and renewed all my kitchen appliances from Davis by Belvedere station. Can’t stand the big warehouses and the net would be too much hassle if there should be a problem.