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Editor’s comment: Stamford Hill video is outrageous – but the problem is cars in general, not just parking

PUBLISHED: 12:44 03 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:59 03 November 2017

Police have said the driver who left the car there will be prosecuted. Picture: @MPSStamfordHill

Police have said the driver who left the car there will be prosecuted. Picture: @MPSStamfordHill

Archant

Police footage of a fire engine stuck in a Stamford Hill street for 40 seconds because of a man’s stupid, irresponsible parking is outrageous.

Perhaps it’ll give pause for thought to those who say traffic offences shouldn’t be a priority for the cops in this area – though after the film we published earlier this year of cars mounting the pavement right outside a primary school I’m not sure how anyone can think that.

The police almost certainly do have better things to do than tell people off for crap parking, but it’s the drivers’ fault resources are being used like this.

If it’s so difficult to find a parking space that you have to abandon your car in the middle of a street, it might be time to wake up and smell the pollution: there are too many cars on our roads.

As I’ve said time and again in this column, there are some people who genuinely need to drive, and they absolutely should be able to – ideally in electric vehicles.

But London’s world-class public transport should be good enough for the other 99 per cent of us.

If the police aren’t getting through to people with “education” as they call it (though let’s be honest, anyone who did this in their driving test would fail instantly so it’s not as though people don’t know better), I certainly support Pc James Higgins’ approach of pushing for prosecution.

Personally, given some of the driving I used to see on a daily basis as I cycled through Stamford Hill, I would support mandatory awareness courses with every conviction in which drivers were forced to use the roads on a bike (or perhaps a fire engine in this case) to see the kinds of obstacles their behaviour creates.

But really this is all a symptom of a much bigger problem: our obsession with cars. Until we fix it, our air will stay poisonous and our roads will stay blocked.

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