It seems in Southall, one must ask oneself, do I want fries and a yellow wheelclamp with that?
Two families in Southall should consider moving to clamping-free Westminster after two identical clamping incidents have put their cars and fast food buying habits out of action. Locals Kamran Victor and Tony Martino both had their cars clamped in the car park of MacDonalds, Southall branch on Uxbridge Road by overzealous area director Atul Pathak, who seems to keep an unusually vigilant eye on who uses his restaurant's parking facilities. Costs to release their cars were between £100 and £200.
The distress, inconvenience and expense of having their cars clamped in the car park of the restaurant they are purchasing from is rather puzzling. Isn't that what the car park is for - for paying customers? And if it is decided that the parked car does not belong to a customer, wouldn't it be better to escort the driver from the premises rather than securing the car with a clamp and therefore only adding to the inconvenience of having that car there?
City of Westminster seem to have grasped this fundamental chasm between what car clamping is supposed to achieve and what car clamping actually does. Other borough councils and micro-managers of restaurant car parks have yet to see and resolve this gap. The money gathered in between aim and action could perhaps be obscuring the correct vision of parking control.
One more point these two cases of clamping prove: cheap fast food really is not that fast or cheap in Southall. Keep a bag of nuts and some crisps in the glove compartment and bypass that completely misleading sign saying 'drive-thru' - because over there, you drive in... but you don't drive back out.
Image by Ronald Hackston, courtesy of the Londonist Flickr pool.