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Parking Hardly News

Drivers keen to avoid parking fines | UK news | guardian.co.uk

And that is news? Let me add the memo to the council - I am not only eager to avoid fines I'm also keen to avoid paying for parking, so when you introduce or increase parking charges in the town, I don't go there. I shop elsewhere. And you wonder why the tumbleweed blows across the shopping centre past Greggs and the charity shops.

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Okay, I'll bite. Parking charges, if set at a reasonable level, make towns friendlier and more usable. My favourite local town, Berkhamsted, is a good example. It costs a pound or two to park for a couple of hours, which is fine by me; or if I spend some money at Waitrose, which of course is effectively a fee, I can park there for 2 hours. If parking was free, it wouldn't be available when I need it. The free car parks would be full from crack of dawn with commuters' cars. It's a general point that I should have thought was well-known: if a limited resource is free it is used inefficiently, and over-used. (Actually, for the real die-hards in Berkhamsted there's a free car park in a slightly awkward position, but the payment for that is in shoe leather.)

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