Recent letters have highlighted the unsatisfactory drop-off/pick-up point problem at Winchester Railway Station. 

In the wake of Railtrack’s taxi rank fiasco and Hampshire’s assumption of its aggressive responsibility for parking in the city, there is still no sensible solution that takes account of the fact that trains are sometimes late and don’t coordinate with parking wardens’ minute clock-watching pettifoggery. 

Yes, of course there needs to be some reasonable control over parking but (as Andrea Morrison pointed out on May 9) the station ‘drop-off point’ is compromised by massive concrete obstructions and buses on their regular routes can’t get past any car stopping however briefly. 

It is difficult to conclude other than that Hampshire’s operation of the policy is at least as much about hawkish revenue raising as it is about parking control. The wardens were even lurking on Bank Holiday Monday when there was the additional chaos of numerous parked rail replacement buses. After I had been ticketed recently, there being no safe place to wait for a delayed train, I asked the ‘Civil Enforcement Officer’ where he would have advised me to wait. Gladstone Street Car Park, I was told. When I commented that one of his colleagues might also be lurking there with intent to slap fines on temporarily parked cars of people meeting rail passengers at the station front, there was no answer other than that I could appeal. 

My appeal was rejected with the curiously unhelpful statement that ‘the lack of legal parking [space] is not a valid reason to cancel a Penalty Charge Notice’ while ‘acknowledging the points raised in [my] challenge’. So maybe someone responsible would care to devise something that is legal?

Meanwhile I would urge anyone ‘caught’ to contest their Penalty Charge Notice to maximise legal and administrative time wastage. Loss of easy revenue might help concentrate minds on coming up with a workable solution.

Christopher Gordon,
Cornes Close,

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