Thursday, April 26, 2007

Parking at £1 a minute....

I managed to get ripped off in a car park the other day - ironically at the National Rail Museum.

I'd driven up north and a colleague called me to say he had an interesting news clipping he wanted to give me. He suggested the reception area of the Museum would be a good place to meet.

It was certainly well signed posted and easy to find and I quickly found myself in the museum car park. Alarm bells should have rang as I was funnelled (no pun intended) into the entrance and I saw the daily parking rate displayed. I put my car into reverse, but it was already too late.

I was already past the point of no return with a Chelsea tractor right on my tail and no ‘escape’ lane.

I was obviously in the wrong car park and made straight for the exit. Even NCP car parks allow motorists to drive through and make a sharp exit if you’ve made a mistake. But not the National Rail Museum.

I went to reception and explained my dilemma, but I was wasting my breath. There was no hourly rate for the car park – there was no other car park – and once in, the only way out was with a seven-quid exit token.

Seven quid for seven minutes!

It was no consolation when the nice lady explained that entry to the museum was free so they had to maximise parking fees. I didn’t have time to visit the museum, free or not!

It also didn’t help to be told that the fee was for all day – specially when a waiting car filled my space as soon as I vacated it - and handed over another seven squid.

On my drive home down the A1, I worked out that with an endless supply of customers like me, in a ten-hour working day, the National Rail Museum could rake in £600 a day for every one of the dozens - hundreds? - of spaces in their precious car park.

Sounds obvious, but I wish I'd used the train!


Brynley said...

Trading news clippings in a car park?

Phil, we need you for the next series of Life on Mars.

fairdealphil said...


guilty as charged: i suppose i was in the right place for anoraks!