I am going to use this weeks posting to have a bit of a rant about parking, general ignoring of road signs and shocking driving that I witness in Penzance EVERY single day. It drives me absolutely crackers. I am not saying that my driving is perfect (it isn’t) but I have been driving for over 30 years and I now drive a lot of miles each week in my taxi so I am entitled to think that I am reasonably competent.
Most people that drive around our town are good drivers. They are courteous to other road users (including pedestrians), they obey road signs and don’t park in ridiculous places. However there are what appears to be a growing number of drivers who are not like that. Some drivers seem unaware of other road users (including pedestrians), don’t notice road signs or markings and think that they can park anywhere. They seem to live in a bubble of self centered ignorant bliss. Take this sign for example . . .
There is one of these at the top of Market Jew Street. It means the ONLY vehicles that can go down that road are (unsurprisingly) Bicycles, Buses and Taxis. It seems that quite a lot of people either don’t see it or don’t know what it means. During the day (and not just during the busy tourist season) lots of cars routinely ignore the sign and sail down Market Jew Street. The other day I counted four vehicles in a row coming down the road towards me which were neither bus, taxi or bicycle. A few times in the past I have flagged cars down and told them that they are not allowed down that road but I have given up now as I don’t really want any more abuse and thinly veiled threats of violence. The police or the Parking Enforcement Officers (these used to be called traffic wardens) should clamp down on this. And there is no allowance for disabled drivers either, they also CANNOT drive down Market Jew Street. They like all drivers are allowed to drive UP the road.
Market Jew Street itself is an absolute shambles when it comes to parking. It is slightly confusing as up the road there are some single yellow line parts, some double yellow line parts, some disabled spaces and some loading bays. There are also a couple of bits without any markings whatsoever. It doesn’t seem to matter, however, to some drivers what the regulations are, they will just park ANYWHERE that that their car will fit. Just in case anyone doesn’t know, the double yellow lines means you cant park at any time and the single yellow lines mean that you can only park at certain times. The times are clearly shown on a metal sign. In Market Jew Street it is double yellow lines all the way up to Tesco Express. Between Tesco Express and Poundland it is a single yellow line and then back to double yellows again. On the way up there are zig zag lines for the zebra crossing and at the top end there is a loading bay at the coop. After that its more zig zags for the second crossing then you are at the junction.
All day long, every single day, Market Jew Street is absolutely choked with parked cars along every inch of it. Drivers just ignore both double and single yellow lines. I see EVERY day a car parked on the zig zag lines at both zebra crossings. My favourite is cars parking on the double yellow lines outside the post office which just happens to be bang opposite the bus stop. When a fairly well loaded bus comes down the road and stops at the bus stop to let passengers on and off, because of the illegally parked car Market Jew street comes to a complete standstill with no vehicles able to go up nor down the road. Its not the bus drivers fault, he is at a bus stop, it is the fault of the idiot driver who parked where he/she did. Putting on flashing hazards lights does NOT make it all ok!
Now you would think that Cornwall Council are aware of the problems in Market Jew Street and have dispatched at least three Parking Enforcement Officers to the town to keep the traffic moving. Well amazingly they have! Unfortunately you will not see them patrolling Market Jew Street to aid traffic flow because they will be hanging around in the Council Car parks trying to ticket drivers who have not “Paid and displayed” or have over stayed their paid period. Or they might be skulking around the back streets of Penzance finding people who have parked whilst they are at work and have inadvertently got a wheel on a single yellow line. Nice easy work and much more preferable to trudging up and down the main shopping thoroughfare of Penzance where they might have to have contact with drivers and possibly receive some criticism or negative comments. Perhaps even swearing or the threat of violence! They need to man up and do the job they are paid for.
And when did it become unfashionable or uncool to indicate? A while ago I started tooting my horn every time someone turned ahead of me without indicating but as I was tooting about twenty times a day I just stopped. It was pointless. Not indicating is just plain lazy, is dangerous and has a negative affect on traffic flow, particularly at roundabouts. How hard can it be?