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Changing times

Bryn Thomas bemoans aspects of modern life ... again

This new tax disc business on motor vehicles is a bit of a rum thing, don’t you think?

I renewed mine about a month ago, so I’m presuming that I can keep it exhibited on my car window until eleven months from now – but is that right?

Am I going to be getting a tap on the shoulder from the Gestapo because I’m still displaying a tax disc after they’ve been abolished?

What happens if DVLA Swansea don’t send out the reminders, so that therefore you inadvertently fail to renew yours … and suddenly you then get ‘done’ for not having paid?

It’s all a bit of a mystery, especially to someone of my age who is totally out of touch with the latest smartphone technology, social networking practices and what’s going on.

I wish the authorities wouldn’t confuse people by operating two contradictory systems simultaneously, as is the case with this tax disc initiative.

permitAbout three weeks ago, I received a reminder from my local council that my residential car parking permit needed renewing, a task I somehow managed to complete online (to my great pleasure and surprise). About four days later, the new permit arrived, ready to start on the day after my current one expired on 30th September.

Yesterday, of course, was that day. As a pal had rung, hoping to use my space in the residential car park, I had offered to park my own car in the street. I did this at 7.00am, on my way to collect my newspapers.

I returned from a lunch in London at about 4.00pm to discover I’d received a parking ticket!

With my brain not working at its best that early in the morning, I had failed to remember that the ‘old’ permit had expired and I should have been displaying the new one. Annoyingly, I had left the new one in the ‘parking permit display envelope’ on my car window, nestling behind its ‘about to expire ‘ counterpart.

In other words, I had paid for my new permit, but yesterday had just not been displaying it.

Two irritations about getting this parking ticket: (1) obviously, I was in possession of a valid permit – it was inside the car window, about 2mm behind its expired predecessor, and I had simply forgotten to switch them; and (2) if the parking permit people had only been operating a similar system to the new DVLA Swansea one regarding tax discs, presumably the parking attendant concerned would have been able to ‘log’ my vehicle, go online to check whether or not it was associated with a valid parking permit … and then, because it was, not had to give me a ticket!

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About Bryn Thomas

After a longer career in travel agency than he would care to admit, Bryn became a freelance review of hotels and guest houses at the suggestion of a former client and publisher. He still travels and writes for pleasure. More Posts