Discussion Forum
Clamping in Mytholmroyd

Posted by Kathy
Thursday, 8 March 2007

A petition is being prepared for patients to sign. The emphasis will be on concern for patients being clamped. Anyone prepared to help distribute and get signatures is asked to e-mail mytholmroyd@3-c.coop and a copy will be forwarded. It will soon be available for signing in prominent places locally.

Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Thursday, 8 March 2007

I would just love to know exactly how many patients have been clamped. And by patients I mean people using the car park exclusively for visiting the medical centre.

As far as "people who consider themselves clamped wrongly" is concerned, well that is an entirely different matter.

Posted by Fran of Mytholmroyd Net
Thursday, 8 March 2007

Latest news: A Petition for patients objecting to the ongoing clamping activities at Grange Dene Medical Centre is in place at Valley Electrics, Brookes' newsagents, Milly's and The Hardware shop. It is being widely distributed elsewhere. It can be downloaded here as a .pdf document. Signed copies can be dropped off at any of the places mentioned from where they will be collected.

Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Monday, 12 March 2007

I've taken a look at this petition today, and my what an object lesson in spin and propaganda...

"Some Patients and Patients' carers are being intimidated and wrongly clamped" Intimidated? By whom? This is clearly a ploy to win the hearts and minds of those who assume that the clampers must be thugs simply because they wear baseball caps and aren't reading The Guardian or the Telegraph to pass the time while on duty.

"Some Patients are becoming anxious at having to attend the Medical Centre" Perhaps they are. But they have no reason to be, and the likely cause of any anxiety is in fact the absurd claims and scaremongering of those who have their own interests in mind. Let's face it, who have really caused fear and anxiety about a very straightforward and easy to understand parking rule?

"We do not believe this is in keeping with the Hebden Bridge Group Practice statement on their website: 'We aim to provide appropriate, accessible, courteous, high quality care and environment to all our patients and staff'". As above, and patients using the car park exclusively to visit the MC have absolutely nothing to fear or be anxious about. If you abide by the rules of the car park, you will not be clamped. It is that simple.

"There is growing, serious concern locally at the lack of response from the Centre" This is a blatant and outrageous lie, reprasentatives of the MC have met with Cllr. John Beacroft-Mitchell to discuss this matter and the practice has also responded to correspondance from Cllr. Beacroft-Mitchell. But interestingly the exact details of the response have yet to come to light.

"A serious medical/health incident could arise from a patient being clamped, or the fear of being clamped" If patients follow the rules governing the car park, they will not be clamped and therefore cannot have any fear of being clamped. Any fear and anxiety that has been generated, has been done so by others involved in this matter, not by the MC.

"There is serious congestion caused by cars parked in Grange Yard for Patients approaching and leaving. Or even Doctors leaving for an emergency or an ambulance attending." The MC is not responsible in any way for any of the selfish and dangerous parking habits of other people. This a complete red herring. As was noted by the originator of this discussion thread, traders and shoppers are causing this congestion. This is something that they have a choice about, nobody is holding a gun to their head and forcing them to park in such an irresponsible way.

"The appeal process is entirely with the clampers who do not have Patients' interests at heart" Au contraire! The very reason the clampers are employed by the MC is to look after patients' interests, ie. to ensure that parking places have not been commandeered by traders and shoppers and commuters.

Posted by Andrew Hall
Monday, 12 March 2007

As I've said before, one of the problems in the Mythomroyd parking saga (and yes, there must have been more postings on this subject than any other) is the use of Carstoppers, and the way in which they have been hired.

They are a notorious company. They've even made the national press for their intimidating and insensitive behaviour. The Keighley News has frequently featured them, as have other local newspapers. I've worked in Keighley for over 20 years, and many of our customers have stories to tell about Carstoppers' tactics. None are positive, and nearly all suggest that the firm, whilst always (appearing to be) playing by the rules, push those rules to the absolute limit. There's no flexibility, no leeway, no humanity. The slightest transgression, and you're clamped.

Their keenness to enforce the rules is only encouraged by their contractual arrangement with the Medical Centre, whereby their income comes solely from the amount of money they can raise by clamping. Understandably, they want to make as much money as possible from their dealings with the Medical Centre. It follows that they are unlikely to show any mercy to anyone whatsoever. In Haworth, a wrongly displayed ticket (eg on the drivers side window rather than the windscreen), being marginally out of your parking bay, quickly popping into the village to get change for the ticket machine, is punished in the most severe way (and isn't a £75 fine just a teensy weensy bit draconian for such a minor transgression?) But, of course, in Carstopper World (and sadly it appears in Marascalco World as well) the rules are there and if you break them, you've only yourself to blame. It's all so black and white.

As this discussion is going round in circles, demonstrating a certain intransigence on both sides, I might as well repeat what I've said earlier. Why can't the spirit, rather than the letter of the law be applied? If a patient wants to pop into the local newsagent for 3 minutes, if a resident needs to buy a loaf of bread in a local shop, if anyone wants to use the car park briefly, could they not be allowed to? Can't we have just a little leeway? Is a little bit of community spirit too much to ask for?

I can fully understand the need to prevent shopkeepers and commmuters from parking all day, but, as you will find in any supermarket car park, there are ways to limit people's stay to whatever length of time you want.

There is a clear solution to this problem, but the fly in the ointment is most definitely Carstoppers, in whose interest any 'give and take' would not work. Until they go, the bad will and dissatisfaction will undoubtedly continue, and Mytholmroyd will continue to be a divided community.

Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Yes Andrew,

I'm sure in your Ideal World, people would be allowed to spend a reasonable amount of time and I would agree with you, but how is this defined, and who enforces these new rules other than a clamping firm? Would any other clamping firm be more welcomed by the petitioners? I doubt it.

This idea that a 2 minute, 3 minute or whatever rule could be used is nice in theory but simply impossible for the MC to manage. What about the ensuing excuses, arguments, green ink and forum posts for only being 4 minutes instead of 3 minutes? Yes, they could put some kind automated system in place, but who pays for it? If a community practice such as this had supermarket-sized resources available to introduce such a system, then I'm certain they would have done so in the first place. These people are not stupid, they didn't find their jobs on the inside of cereal packet, despite what some people would have us believe. And anyone who questions whether these doctors have the patients' interests at heart is probably lucky to have evaded the theory of evolution thus far.

Employing the spirit of the law rather than the letter is a truly commendable idea, but entirely unworkable in this instance.

Any shortfall in available parking as a result of the previously generous favour of free parking being withdrawn, is the responsibility of the local authority to address and no-one else.

That members of the Mytholmroyd community are willing to publish petitions which make false statements in order to hoodwink the public and get their own way is something I find particularly difficult to stomach. Who are the real criminals in among the Mytholmroyd community?

I don't know a whole lot about how petitions work, but surely if a petition makes incorrect statements then anyone signing it will be doing so on a false premise and the whole exercise will be completely invalid.

Posted by Fran of Mytholmroyd Net
Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Andrew said:
There is a clear solution to this problem, but the fly in the ointment is most definitely Carstoppers, in whose interest any 'give and take' would not work. Until they go, the bad will and dissatisfaction will undoubtedly continue, and Mytholmroyd will continue to be a divided community.

Andrew - it is as you say.

Reading the stories coming in, most people say "we can understand the Medical Centre had to do something, but ...".   It is the methods used that have caused the most upset.

It's not just Mytholmroyd by the way. Patients now attend the Medical Centre from Luddendenfoot and are telling stories of being clamped, as well as people from Hebden Bridge who use the dentist or the optician.

Posted by Andrew Hall
Wednesday, 14 March 2007

The problem with this particular clamping firm is that they have an undisputed notoriety in West Yorkshire. That being the case, yes, another 'clamping firm' would certainly have more credence than the present lot.

The peverse thing about the present arrangement (as I understand it) is that Carstoppers only make money out of their contract if they can clamp people. Apparently they are not on any sort or retainer, and if they fail to clamp, their source of income is simply not there.

That being the case, it is very much in their interest to clamp, and to ensure the rules are fluid enough to allow them to do so. At £75 a time, it only takes two or three clamps a day to make a nice little earner.

So what of the 'rules'? As Johnny quite rightly says, if everyone abided by the 'rules', there would be no problem. But what are the rules exactly? The notice says "Any unauthorised vehicle will be wheel clamped" Is that it? Just what, exactly is an 'authorised vehicle', and how do you get such authorisation? And is a system that relies on people sitting in a van, watching where people go, a sound, reliable and foolproof way to police parking? Of course not!

What if I drive a friend or relative to the Medical Centre, and I subsequently go shopping whilst they are in the centre? As the owner of the car, I'd probably be clamped as I'm not visiting the centre and therefore probably not 'authorised'. What if a taxi driver parks, having dropped a patient off, and whilst waiting to pick same patient up, wanders off to the shops? Clamped! I could go on with all the permutations and all the 'what ifs'. The thing to remember that if there's any doubt, there's almost certainly going to be a clamp. I don't think Johnny has any idea of the nature of Carstoppers. With them, we are most certainly not dealing with reasonable and caring people. We are dealing with people who are out to make as much money as they possibly can from a given situation.

As for people visiting the Medical Centre having no worries, think again! Most people visiting the health centre have enough problems without the added worry of whether they have parked correctly. Perhaps they have parked in a slightly skewed way, perhaps their car is sticking out of the bay by a few centimetres, perhaps the Carstoppers people haven't seen them go into the Medical Centre. Why should they have these concerns piled on them, as they sit, waiting to see a doctor? It's unfair, and only serves to highlight a Practice Manager who simply hasn't a clue about the system he or she has implemented.

Signing a petition against the existing parking situation is certainly helpful. More helpful even than that would be individual letters. All medical practices are now target driven - they need, amongst other things, to demonstrate customer satisfaction. Conversely, they need to avoid adverse comments. If any patient, at any time, has had any concern about the new parking arrangements, it's vital that they express those concerns in writing.

What I will say to the Practice Manager of the centre is simply this. You are there to serve the community and be part of that community. We have all paid for you and are co-owners of your provision. You need to integrate with the community and understand everything about it. If you fail to do so, you fail the very people you claim to serve. You need to think long and hard about the divisive situation you have created in Mytholmroyd.

Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Is it not truly remarkable how Mytholmroyd.net have modified their take on this issue since the initial postings on this subject?

Gone are the wild and hysterical claims of local economic meltdown. The desperate plight of traders, shoppers and delivery vans seem to be completely irrelevant all of a sudden. The hysteria remains, but it has taken an altogether different form.

It must not go unnoticed that just as these claims disappeared from the agenda having been shown to be completely unteneble, the clamping of patients and the life-threatening anxiety to them has been ramped up to become the most prominent aspect of the arguments put forward by those campaigning against the Medical Centre. Why did this happen? Quite simply because of the emotive nature of portraying the ill, infirm and elderly in distress. Patients are being used as emotional leverage in this debate, to engage the support of the community and thus further the agenda of those who wish to see the car park available to shoppers and traders once more.

Suggestions that patients are being clamped from Hebden to Luddenden are conveniently unqualified ie. were these patients also using the local shops whilst using the car park on their visit to the Medical Centre?

Come one Mytholmroyd.net, what happened to your initial support for the plight of traders and shoppers? Not quite a powerful enough weapon any more?

Posted by Jacob
Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Marascalco is wrong. It is perfectly straightforward to install meters that issue tickets. Waiting could be limited to one or two hours, with no same day return, and free parking offered to those using the Medical Centre only. Similar schemes are operated in private car parks elsewhere, generating income and controlling parking. The Centre could still contract Carstoppers to clamp offenders, though I doubt very much that they would see this as a sound business proposition.

Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Am I indeed?

Jacob, it may be straightforward in practical terms, but why should the MC bear the significant cost of this installation to service the needs of shoppers or traders? This is the direct responsibility of the local authority, let them deal with it.

And how would a metering system distinguish between patients attending the MC and paying users?

But most importantly of all, let us give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that the MC did install the system you are suggesting. What happens when during a busy shopping period, there are not enough parking spaces for staff or patients attending the MC? It is impossible to control the ratio of usage.

As far as clamping those wo abused the system is concerned, who is going to patrol the car park and check the tickets? Do you think a clamping company are going to service this given the likelihood of them not getting any revenue to cover their costs? Of course they wouldn't, which means the MC has to fork out a considerable amount of money on an ongoing basis. For what purpose? To let the local authority off the hook? How fair is that?

Traders and shoppers cannot be allowed to use this car park under any circumstances.

Posted by Jacob
Wednesday, 14 March 2007

You are, indeed.

The revenue would cover installation costs very quickly...and Mytholmroyd, busy? I doubt that very much. I am offering a fair and painless solution for all. You are supporting, what you quite rightly identify, as a clamping business - not a solution to a community problem. Your rhetoric betrays you, I fear.

Residents should be lobbying the Council as well as the Medical Centre - I agree. Perhaps the Council might then be bold enough to compulsarily purchase half of what is now essentially unused parking space from the Medical Centre and turn it over to paid car parking.

Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Thursday, 15 March 2007

And you betray yourself.

If Mytholmroyd is never busy, then why does it need access to these car parking spaces? And if it is not going to be busy, how is it likely to generate enough revenue to cover the cost of installation and maintenance?

I am not supporting the clamping business in any way. I am supporting the rights of the MC to reserve acces to the car park for patients and staff.

Crucially though, you did fail to explain who would cover the cost of patrolling the car park and ensuring it was not being abused or over subscribed by shoppers, traders or commuters?

The car park is not unused at all, a recent contributor who supports the campaign against the clamping stated it was now only 75% full. That is busier than most supermarket car parks on a Saturday afternoon!

Compulsory purchase, don't make me laugh. But by all means lobby the council anyway. The "community problem" or provision of parking for shoppers and traders, is undisputably their responsibility, and theirs alone.

For the sake of clarifying why Jacob's proposal would be completely unworkable in financial terms, let us assume that say (an exteremely generous) 20 spaces are given over to shoppers and traders who must pay (a reasonable) £1/hour for parking, and that the capacity of the car park averages out at 50% during that period since it isn't ever very busy. OK, now let's say that someone is employed to patrol the car park at a miserly £7.50/hour. Now, using a rule of thumb that says an employee must earn (at least) twice their salary, that would be £15/hour as a direct cost to the MC. So (at best given the generous allocation of spaces) we have the car park earning £10/hour and an ongoing cost of £15/hour. A false economy by anyone's standards and one which would never see the initial investment to install the ticketing system being recovered.

Posted by Hazel
Thursday, 15 March 2007

I have been following this forum for quite some time and don't really want to add fuel to the fire, perhaps my thoughts do vary off the subject a little but.... Just a small observation.... Have any of the Mytholmroyd patients had to visit the Hebden Bridge surgery recently? If so, they would surely have had to pay for parking, unless they were very lucky and managed to get into one of the very few 'parking for 1 hour' slots outside the surgery. These always seem to be full when I try to visit either the surgery or the chemist to collect my prescription. We would love a 'free carpark' to visit the doctor or the nurse or the chemist.... sheer luxury. Watch out Mytholmroyd, parking used to be free in Hebden Bridge...... not any longer....

Posted by Jacob
Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Unless Johnny, they were at liberty to clamp transgressors. They could even be paid on a clamping only an hourly rate of pay of £nothing!

Posted by Chris Dellen
Tuesday, 20 March 2007

As an 'out of area' visitor I am glad I was forewarned by this discussion thread about the clamping.

Last week I made an emergency appointment at my dentist for 12.30pm. This seemed convenient because I was coming from Walsden to a class in Hebden which was due to finish at 11.45am.

I arrived at the Medical centre car park at 12 noon, saw the signs and remembered the stories I'd read. My options seemed to be to sit in the dentist's waiting room for 1/2 hour or drive around in circles. I asked the dental receptionist if I was required to wait in the building to avoid being clamped but she wasn't sure. I went into the pharmacy and asked and was told that even if I went to buy a paper to read in the waiting room I would risk being clamped. Needless to say after browsing in the pharmacy I went to read the dentist's waiting room mags.

My point is that the Medical centre car park is not the exact equivalent of other private parking. I have also recently used the car parks at Russell Dean's and the dry cleaners because I was using those businesses, but in those instances I could just go straight in and look for a bed and drop off the dry cleaning. I didn't have to wait for my appointment time.

Surely most people would want to arrive in plenty of time for a doctor's, dentist's or optician's appointment and on a nice sunny day would probably much rather kill the extra time having a short relaxing walk than sitting in a waiting room.

Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Chris I appreciate the general notion of what you've said, but do people really want to get to an appointment early at a medical centre? It's not as if there is a queue for appointment slots.

And if it's a nice sunny day, and you arrive early for an appointment and fancy a walk, why not park elsewhere and walk to the MC instead? Just because the car park is there for patients and staff, nobody is insisting that they must use it when visiting the MC.

Posted by Fran of Mytholmroyd Net
Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Update from Mytholmroyd at Grange Dene Yard last week when a wagon delivering to the bakery blocked access to and from the Medical Centre for some time, then when trying to leave hit a mini parked near the hairdressers.

Grange Dene Yard is the small access road leading to the Medical Centre, owned by the residents and businesses each side of the yard. Local people say wagons and lorries never used Grange Dene Yard for deliveries when the land was owned by Broadbents - instead they gained access via the road by the Post Office. More here

The petition for patients to sign is in several local shops - Milly's, The Hardware shop, Brookes newsagents, Valley Electrics and has been widely distributed elsewhere including the Community Shop at Midgley - at their request.

The petition can be downloaded here as a .pdf document.

Anyone wishing to contact about the petition - or lodge their complaints privately can e-mail mytholmroyd@3-c.coop. People organising the petition state that this e-mail address has been set up specifically because some people have felt intimidated posting to this forum having read bullying and offensive posts by persons in favour of the clamping.

Posted by Adam
Thursday, 22 March 2007

Just to clarify. The road up Grange yard was used by wagons delivering to the bakery previous to the medical centre. It is a access road to the property's at the rear of Burnley Road and Midgley Road. Wagons never used it to deliver to Broadbents. They always used the road by the Post Office.

Posted by Kathy
Wednesday, 28 March 2007

I sat in Milly's last Wednesday and an elderly gentleman parked at the Medical Centre then walked down the slip road towards the shops. As I was walking round the corner to the shops minutes later, I saw him looking in shop windows and I told him they were clamping on the MC car park.

He said "but I'm going to the dentist". I said "it makes no difference if you don't go straight there". He said "they won't clamp me for 2 minutes though will they". He obviously didn't believe me. However, he immediately went back to his car. The clampers, as it happens, had gone for the day. They apparently often leave around lunchtime now. Had they still been there this elderly gentleman would definitely have been clamped. The clampers run towards people's cars if they so much as walk away from the MC on initially parking up.

I was told today though that people are allowed 15 mins after they've been to the MC and if they do their nipping to the shops this way round they won't be clamped. But how are people supposed to know these things?

£75 represents nearly a week's pension for many retired people.

And if anyone says that people should know by now then I can only suggest they go down to the car park and watch for a few hours - preferably in the morning.

Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Thursday, 29 March 2007

All anyone has to do is read the signs Kathy. They are explicitly clear.

Drivers are obligated to make themselves aware of the rules governing the car park just as they are obliged to make themselves aware of road signage for speed limits etc.

I am reluctant to believe that the MC or the clamping company has set a post-visit shopping period of 15 minutes, and am far more inclined to believe this is either rumour or deliberate disinformation.

Posted by Kathy
Wednesday, 28 March 2007

I had it on good authority that 15 minutes after a visit to the MC was allowed. I certainly wouldn't spread a rumour like that to deliberately mis-inform. I don't want anyone clamped unnecessarily.

Yesterday they clamped a car with 3 children in. I expect they felt totally justified.

No wonder people are getting frustrated and angry. We have thugs in the centre of the village.

Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Friday, 30 March 2007

I could be wrong, but if there was a genuine policy to allow MC visitors 15 minutes after their appointment, I am fairly certain that this would have been made clear by the Practice Manager during their (allegedly non-existent) dialogue and correspondance with with Cllr. John Beacroft-Mitchell.

I was not suggesting you would spread rumour or disinformation Kathy, but ask yourself this, whose cause would be seen to be more justified in the eyes of the public if there were a significant increase in the number of patients were clamped as a result?

Does anyone else recognise that all the stories being told about people being clamped see to centre around the elderly, the infirm, children? Emotional blackmail anyone?

Posted by Yvonne Dumsday
Friday, 30 March 2007

I have just read Kathy's posting which said, "I was told today though that people are allowed 15 mins after they've been to the MC and if they do their nipping to the shops this way round they won't be clamped. But how are people supposed to know these things?"

Please Kathy, would you let me know who said this. In February, when visiting my Mother on her 91st birthday, I popped down to the centre and parked for 8 minutes.

I got her an appointment at the doctor's; a box of tissues from the chemist and a 50p light bulb from the hardware shop.

Unfortunately, I did my calls in the reverse order; was clamped and had to fork out the £75.

As a pensioner myself, this seemed an extortionate amount to pay so I wrote to the Medical Centre to see if they could help. Their reply told me it was not their business so I wrote to the clampers but have not hyet had a reply.

If Kathy is correct then I need to contact to whoever gave her this information to discover the difference between "2 mins in the shop before visiting the Health Centre" and "2 mins in the shop after visiting the Health Centre".

Or, maybe someone else could explain?

Posted by Yvonne Dumsday
Friday, 30 March 2007

In reply to Johnny Marascalco's posting of Friday, 30 March 2007 where he states "Does anyone else recognise that all the stories being told about people being clamped see to centre around the elderly, the infirm, children? Emotional blackmail anyone?" I object to being accused of emotional blackmail.

1. I am a pensioner.

2. My Mother is 91 years old.

3. I WAS a user of the Health Centre.

4. I only parked for a very short time (2 minutes of which was spent buying a 50p bulb).

5. I was clamped and had to pay £75.

Where is the "emotional blackmail" in that?

Where is the justice in that?

What can be done about that?

Posted by Jasper
Saturday, 31 March 2007

Lets try to stick to facts, which I believe are…

1. The car park is owned by the medical centre.
2. The terms of parking are clear.
3. The clampers are contracted by the medical centre.

Therefore, the clampers (although some may say are acting immorally) are acting legally for and behalf of the medical centre.

And now to the key question…

Have you been clamped whilst visiting the medical centre?

The medical centre has a duty of care for its patients. if the medical centre has incorrectly clamped its clients then it is in breach of this duty. If there are costs incurred by this breach then there is a clear case of negligence. If negligence is proven then damages are due which will include the clampers fees and certain intangible costs (eg stress).

I would suggest that if you have been clamped whilst using the medical centre and have proof (eg an appointment card coinciding with a receipt or credit card entry due to clamping) then get together and

1. Write to the practice giving 30 days notice of your intentions.

2. If a satisfactory reply is not received file a negligence claim. This can be done without a solicitor, and inexpensively. There’s plenty of information here

This may have a few outcomes...
1. The press and TV would be very interested.
2. You may have the clamping fee returned plus compensation.
3. It should, at least, make the medical centre review its policy on parking.
4. You may be refused an appointment at the medical centre in future.

Best of luck…

Posted by Yvonne Dumsday
Sunday, 1 April 2007

Am obliged to Jasper for his comments. I take on board what he says. As I feel there is strength in numbers, maybe all those who have attended the Medical Centre and, like myself, can prove it with receipts, appointment cards etcetera, should band together and take a united action rather than all of us acting independently?

I accept that there are rules when using the car park but I still feel that having abided by the rules (insomuch as I visited the Medical Centre and the Chemist) to be fined £75 for a 2 minute trip to buy a 50p light bulb - does seem somewhat out of proportion.

As I live over 70 miles away from Mytholmroyd, is there anyone living locally who could co-ordinate a list of people willing to join an "Action Group".

(Despite the date - this is no April Fool!!)

Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Monday, 2 April 2007


You can object as much as you want, but I did not mention you anywhere in my comment, nor did I even hint at accusing you of emotional blackmail.

I said "stories being told about people being clamped" not "stories being told by people who have been clamped". There is a clear difference.

I'm genuinely sorry that you have had to pay £75, and it may be out of proportion in your opinion, but the rules are the rules and there can be no ambiguity which allows people to bend them still further. Give them an inch etc...

If you are given a reprieve for shopping after you visited the MC (even for 2 minutes) there will be a flood of demands from people who claim to have only visited the shops for 2, 3, 4, 5 minutes, excuses, excuses, etc etc. Totally unworkable, resulting in chaos and further resentment.

Believe this, if someone had genuine knowledge of a 15 minute shopping period being allowed after a visit to the MC, we would have heard from Kathy about who said this and on what authority they said it.

Posted by Lou
Monday, 2 April 2007

Perhaps a way around the situation would be to do what they seem to do in certain areas of Harrogate, which is to have a disc which can be obtained from the traffic wardens, and which is set with the time the vehicle was left. You then have so long in which to return to the vehicle before being ticketed.

The disc can remain in the vehicle and can be used again and again. Surely all members of the Health Centre could be supplied with one of these for use in the car park.

Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Traffic Wardens? If you mean Carstoppers, I don't think they are going to carry out this task for nothing, so who pays them to do it? And if not them, who pays for whoever else is employed to monitor and service the car park? Who does the ticketing? Who pursues the non-payment of fines? Sorry Lou, but it's a complete non-starter.

We've been through this so many times already, it's astonishing that nobody gets it yet.


I just noticed something else...

If the disc is kept in the vehicle and used again and again, how does anyone distinguish between patients genuinely using the MC and people using the car park to do their shopping?

Posted by Kathy
Tuesday, 3 April 2007

"Believe this, if someone had genuine knowledge of a 15 minute shopping period being allowed after a visit to the MC, we would have heard from Kathy about who said this and on what authority they said it."

I say, Believe this:
I've contacted Yvonne privately with the information and contacts. Better that, than post here to have the information sneered at and twisted until it becomes something other than I (or anybody else for that matter) said in good faith.

Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Tuesday, 3 April 2007

So you are publicly declaring this as a genuine fact?

C'mon Kathy, if the source was authoritative and genuine, this information would exist in the public domain.

Posted by Lou
Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Quote from JM: Traffic Wardens? If you mean Carstoppers, I don't think they are going to carry out this task for nothing, so who pays them to do it? And if not them, who pays for whoever else is employed to monitor and service the car park? Who does the ticketing? Who pursues the non-payment of fines? Sorry Lou, but it's a complete non-starter. Unquote.

JM - had you read my message correctly I stated that maybe there could be a similar system to the one in Harrogate. As usual you have taken this out of context and slammed my suggestion, as you seem to do with any other suggestions and comments made in this and other threads.

Quote from JM: If the disc is kept in the vehicle and used again and again, how does anyone distinguish between patients genuinely using the MC and people using the car park to do their shopping? Unquote.

It would at least stop the people who park there and go off for the day on the train or bus. As this seems to have been the problem in the first place, and why Carstoppers were asked to "monitor" the situation, this would at least seem to go some way to stopping the people who leave their vehicle all day. Surely it is better to have some leeway with the situation than to clamp any minor event such as two minutes going for a light bulb prior to visiting the MC.

Quote from Kathy: Better that, than post here to have the information sneered at and twisted until it becomes something other than I (or anybody else for that matter) said in good faith. Unquote.

Well said Kathy, my sentiments exactly.

Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Tuesday, 3 April 2007

I did not slam, or twist, or sneer at anything. How anyone can sneer without using vocal intonation or facial expression is a mystery to me. This does seem to happen very often. My comments are imbued with characterstics that they do not have and I certainly do not intend. This occurs when people do not like what I say because it contradicts their own comments, and seems to be a simple case of them projecting their resentment onto me.

I pointed out that a scheme like the one you suggested would not work for a variety of obvious reasons. And anyway, you did not suggest something similar, you were very explicit about your suggestion;

Quote from Lou: Perhaps a way around the situation would be to do what they seem to do in certain areas of Harrogate. Unquote.

Leeway, yes, perhaps that would be nice, but clearly unworkable without considerable investment and ongoing costs which have to be met by the MC, who are under no obligation whatsoever (ethically or otherwise) to provide car parking for people who want to go shopping. And bullying them into meeting this cost by haranguing, lobbying and petitioning, is wrong.

And anyway, as Kathy would say, this is not about shoppers or traders, it's about patients. And patients have nothing to worry about unless they want to risk using the car park for doing some shopping at the same time as visiting the MC.

A line has to be (and has been) drawn. If you blur that boundary in any way, people will take advantage of it and risk parking for 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and so on, perhaps not deliberately, but it will happen. And what happens further down the line when the practice grows and has to accommodate an increasing number of patients? The 75% capacity suggested by Cllr. John Beacroft-Mitchell will increase over time, then lo and behold! All the people who are parking for 5 or 10 minutes to do some quick shopping have blocked spaces for genuine patients or staff. What then, does the MC change the rules again? Can you imagine the uproar? "But we were promised!", "I have been parking here for years!". This discussion forum will be buzzing once again with angry complaints, lobbying, and petitions. Not acceptable.

Get used to it, get over it, and move on. ?

Posted by Kathy
Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Get used to it, get over it, and move on. ?

Absolutely no chance.

Posted by Lou
Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Quote from JM: Get used to it, get over it, and move on. ? Unquote.

Considering the fact that JM has taken up roughly one quarter to one third of all the posts on this particular thread since it was first introduced, it would appear that he is the one who should get over it and move on and let the rest of us discuss ways in which this problem could maybe be resolved .........?

Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Wednesday, 4 April 2007

What?? I have nothing to get over. I have no problem whatsoever with the MC enforcing their right to reserve the car park exclusively for staff and service users.

My suggestion is based on the overwhelming fact that this issue will not be resolved to the satisfaction of those who wish to use the car park whilst shopping. The people who expect this to happen as a result of lobbying and petitions will be sorely disappointed. And it will not happen because of the many obvious and numerous reasons I have pointed out.

How long has this thread being going for now? Are the lobbyists any closer to overturning the decision made by the MC?

So, unless the complainants and lobbyists can explain how the car park is going to accomodate shoppers or traders as the number of service users increases over time without jeapordising the spaces for staff and service users, the advice I have given is excellent.

Posted by Andrew Hall
Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Johnny, I'm surprised you don't understand what Lou is saying.

Your first post on this current thread starts with your comment "I cannot believe this issue has re-surfaced!" You then, in your subsequent 31 posts on this topic, make the same points again and again.

I'm at a loss to understand why you continue. I don't think you've persuaded anyone to change their viewpoint on the situation at Mytholmroyd, and, vice versa, I don't think you've conceded anything to those who think the current arrangements are wrong/unfair.

And so this pointless ping pong match continues, making it the longest, and dullest thread I've ever had the misfortune of reading.

Given the intransigence on both sides of the argument, your posts are really pointless. Just what do you hope to gain by saying the same thing time after time after time? Whatever your motives, all you seem to be doing is alienating and irritating. Do you get some sort of obtuse satisfaction from this?

OK, let me explain what Lou is saying. You, Johnny, have posted by far the greatest number of posts on this thread, and yet it is you who tells us it's time to move on. Perhaps you could demonstrate your sincerity in what you say, and move on yourself. I'd love to think you would, but I suspect post no 32 is not far away. I simply don't think you're capable of stopping.

Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Thursday, 5 April 2007

You may find this thread long and dull, but clearly others do not Andrew, and it hasn't stopped you contributing has it? If my contributions are dull, and my posts are repetitive, I apologise. However, they are not so dull as to fail to elicit a response.

I'm surprised that you do not understand why my posts are so numerous. Let me explain it for you. I am in the minority and my viewpoint ruffles the feathers of the complaining majority, and therefore it often happens that several of those complaining will respond to each one of my posts, obliging me to stand up for my POV and make a contribution. I don't respond to all (especially if they are ridiculous or insulting) and if I have to re-state facts again and again this is due to the obstinate refusal of certain contributors to acknowledge clear and unequivocal facts.

I do not only make the same points again and again, or time after time, and anyone who read my contributions rather than merely counting them would recognise this.

I continue because I am appalled by the misrepresentation of facts, the media-savvy use of anecdotal evidence, the downright lies and the failure to acknowledge
basic facts.

"I simply don't think you're capable of stopping."

What is that? Some kind of ham-fisted attempt at reverse psychology?

As I said (I have to repeat it for you, you see the problem?), I am happy that the MC has stood it's ground and continues to reserve the car park for patents and service users. I have no quarrel with this to give up on. Also, there is a vast difference (ie. they are essentially separate issues which happen to share the same space in this discussion) between me giving up on my opinion that the Mytholmroyd community are being misled and hoodwinked by certain individuals, and the lobbyists giving up on their opinion that the MC has a duty (or indeed, is even able) to provide parking for shoppers and traders. This thread is not just about patients being clamped, many regular contributors to this thread have unashamedly voiced their desire to see the car park being used by shoppers.

You may not like, value, or agree with my contributions to this thread, but at least they are contributions to the thread and not merely contributor-bashing.

And unless the facts I have stated and the evidence I have put forward can be proven incorrect, I will continue to believe I am entitled to contribute.

Posted by Simon Murray
Thursday, 5 April 2007

As the husband of someone who was clamped-three points:

1. The signs in October giving notice of clmping have now been changed- because I surmise, the wording was misleading.

2. The Pratice has been unable to secure any response to an appeal despite 4 contacts regarding this (which seems incredible considering they have a contract with the clampers).

3. Legal redress is likely to be the only worthwhile solution.

Posted by Kathy
Friday, 13 April 2007

Those carefully watching developments tell us that this week:

A woman came out the doctors and told the clampers the doctors were running 20 minutes late and she needed to do some shopping. She was not clamped.

A man parked up and began walking away from the MC - turned to the clampers and shouted "I'm going to the doctors". He then went to the shops and to the doctors after.

This is bearing out the 15 mins leeway - but it needs proper clarification.

Posted by Ian
Friday, 13 April 2007

This is pure heresay and has no basis in fact. To try to validate this (and maybe convince others who believe you) by claiming "those carefully watching developments" is irrisponsible. If someone is clamped having read your post will you pay their fine or just offer apologies for having giving duff information.

As an aside the medical centre car park in Todmorden is free to patients. The adjoing car park is pay and display. The result of this is that the medical centre carpark is always full with people shopping and patients have to pay to park to see the doctor!

Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Friday, 13 April 2007

Kathy, didn't you say that 15 minutes was allowed after a visit to the MC? Yes, I've just checked and you definitely did. Now you are saying that 15 minutes are allowed before a visit. Why the confusion when you received this information on such good authority?

Posted by Kathy
Friday, 13 April 2007


Well spotted. Actually your right I did say last time that 15 minutes leeway was being allowed after a visit to the doctors but this week things have changed and people - providing they tell the clampers what they are doing - are being given the time before too.

It seems that a policy has been mooted that if people arrive a bit early and do their shopping beforehand and are clamped they will now be unclamped on proof of a visit to the doctors. However, everyone agrees this can be a very distressing experience. This is recent. Many people were clamped wrongly in the beginning. The purpose of my latest post was to point out that things seem to be changing somewhat.

Sorry Ian if you think it's misleading. I am reporting what I've seen and heard happening. People are as confused as you are and would like clarification of the rules.

I know about the problems in Todmorden. It's not right I agree.

Pay and display for all might well be the way forward.


Posted by Yvonne Dumsday
Friday, 13 April 2007

I read Kathy's message with interest but, if there is a 15 minute leeway, I wish someone could explain why I was clamped after only eight minutes - with receipt from chemist and appointment card from doctor's as proof that I had visited there as well as the hardware shop.

The doctor's inform me it is not in their hands and the clampers have nor replied to my letter.

If you too feel you have been treated unfairly, please join with me - and others - in fighting this injustice

Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Monday, 16 April 2007

Err... Sorry, but I'm a bit confused here (this is inviting ridiculous commentary, I know) but if Kathy has informed Yvonne privately of the authoratitive and genuine source of this alleged 15 minute leeway, then why does Yvonne still sound so unsure ie. she says that "if there is a 15 minute leeway" and that sounds fairly noncommittal and inconclusive to me.

If pay and display is the way forward, I recommend that Kathy, Mytholmroyd.net, and any other supporters of this solution start collecting donations toward it's installation and maintenace as soon as possible.

I'm with Ian on this, it is incredibly irresponsible for an (unidentifiable, and therefore essentially anonymous) contributor to make unsubstantiated claims regarding the rules governing the car park.

If anyone is clamped as a result of believing these claims, Kathy is responsible and not the clampers or the Medical Centre, neither of whom have verified this alleged 15 minute leeway.

Posted by Kathy
Monday, 16 April 2007

For clarity and to avoid postings getting turned around into something they are not - yet again.

Nobody should park on the basis of my posts, or take the information as a green light to do so. I would have thought that was obvious.

Those people living and working around the car park are observing that the clampers are changing their tactics. Many local people would like to know why there is one rule for some and another for others.

This discussion is kept alive in an endeavor to keep people up to date with developments - no more no less.

If others would like to add their observations and experiences - all the better.

We may then get a fuller picture and be better informed.

Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Monday, 16 April 2007

Who on earth has the time (at work, or at home) to carefully observe and record all of the day-to-day goings on at Grange Dene car park, and then share their findings with HebWeb?

Probably the same people who accused me of not having much going on in my life because made several posts here!

Posted by Jasper
Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Interesting article in todays Times newspaper.

'Time runs out for rogue parking wardens'

Posted by Kathy
Friday, 20 April 2007

I'm copying below the Code of Practice from the Times item that Jasper sent which is very helpful. Just in case the link disappears:

The code of practice

Maximum standard charge: £75 (maximum charge if unpaid £150). Parking company’s name, address and phone number must be displayed in car park and on ticket

Parking rules must be clearly displayed

Phone number must connect with a person, not an automated payments system

Ten minutes’ grace for drivers who paid but overstayed

Staff to wear uniform and carry ID. They must not escort drivers to cash machines

Firms may telephone or write if tickets are unpaid but may not visit drivers’ homes

Companies must offer a “proper route of appeal and dispute process”

I've just noticed that Yvonne has already contributed to the article under the facility on that link to "Have your Say". Others can do the same.

I am also posting here a link to Which Magazine and a quote from their online article which appears to offer 3 months legal cover for people with wheel clamping issues for £12.75 - needs further investigation but well worth finding out more:

Summary of what the article says: Got a parking ticket because the pay and display ticket fell off your windscreen? Which? Legal Service can help you. We provide expert legal advice tailored to your individual problem whenever you need it. Our qualified lawyers are committed to helping you get redress and fast. So whether you want to challenge a £200 charge to remove a wheel clamp or a speeding ticket issued when you know you weren’t driving, our team of friendly lawyers can help you. So why fight an injustice like this alone when you can have an entire team of Which? Legal Service lawyers behind you every step of the way and all at unrivalled value!

Incredible value just got even better! Join Which? Legal Service today and get 6 months membership for the price of 3. That’s 6 month’s membership for only £12.75!
Summary of offer: Your subscription will give you the protection of Which? Legal Service for £12.75 for the first 6 months (£9.75 for current subscribers to any of our magazines or Which? Online) and then quarterly at the current price of £12.75 (£9.75 for current subscribers to any of our magazines or Which? Online), until you cancel by writing to us or we advise you of a change in price.

Also the latest from RAC telling people what should happen after clamping:

Summary of what the article says:

What to do if you get clamped on private land:
Ask to see the clamper’s licence. If they don’t have one, report them to the SIA on 08702 430 100. If they won’t release your car you should contact the police.

If they do have a licence, ensure you know the name of the person or organisation to whom you are paying the release fee and obtain a written receipt.

If you feel that the licensed clamper you have dealt with has behaved in an inappropriate way, you should take the matter up with them. However if they fail to resolve your complaint, you may have a case in civil law against them. You should contact your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau or Trading Standards Officer.

If the clamper causes damage to your vehicle, complain to the police.