Picture by nicksarebi
Hello my dearies,
Some of my regular courier customers have been complaining this week about having to drive into central London all the time. It seems that on top of all the hustle and bustle, the extra layer of regulation that accompanies any trip into our nation’s capital can be fraught with annoyances both petty and costly. There’s the congestion charge for a start – though I don’t know much about it, it seems pretty fair to me to charge commercial vehicles, at least, for heading into the very centre of London. Hitting people in the pocket is one of the most effective ways of modifying their behaviour.
Obviously the cost of fuel means that none of us would choose to fill the tank up in central London unless it was absolutely necessary, but that’s another unwanted eventuality. But, most of all, parking is a nightmare, and this is where my courier customers’ complaints seem to really come in. It can sometimes be very difficult to locate the place your delivery is destined for and then find somewhere to park, deliver it and get back on with your journey.
Now it sounds like courier drivers are being targeted by central London’s Community Enforcement Officers - a type of local traffic warden, who are both eagle-eyed and quick to the draw. The CEOs apparently operate by taking a photo of the offending vehicle’s number-plate and then processing the details so that a ticket is automatically sent to the driver. Now, for illegal parking this might be fair enough, but for my courier customers it seems completely reasonable that they should be allowed to stop very briefly, nip inside a building and then get on with their day.
The feeling amongst many is that the CEOs are hiding in wait, ready to jump out and photograph any vehicle that stops long enough to be snapped. One of the main issues my customers have been discussing is the difficulty of distinguishing a courier vehicle from any other. Surely delivery drivers are within their rights to pull over and drop a parcel off, as long as they find somewhere safe to do so? Some drivers have taken to placing stickers on their number plates identifying them as couriers – seems like a good idea to me.
Well, take care if you go into London – and perhaps consider placing a sticker on your number-plate to let the hawk-eyed CEOs know who you are!
Look after yourselves!