Parking Meters on Yom Tov.

An atheist Golders Green parking meter

If you ever wanted to know the religion, if any, of parking meters then Easter Sunday was the day to find out.

They are atheist. Or at least the ones in Golders Green are.

How many of us have been caught out by thinking that sunday is a day off for traffic wardens only to succumb to a £50 ticket when we parked, unsuspecting, on a single yellow?

There are now sunday trading laws where small shops, those under 280 square metres, can open all day while bigger shops are restricted to six hours of business between 10am and 6pm. There are still those who wish to keep sunday special. They see any type of sunday trading as an erosion of family life.

Well sunday certainly isn’t “special” in Golders Green, north-west London where leaving your car on a single yellow while popping into Starbucks could lay you back £50, as it did me recently.

But the most special sunday of the year for this Christian country is Easter Sunday. Surely a day off for us Londoners that didn’t get to escape the smoke? Easter Sunday should be a chance for us all to breathe and not have to worry about the restrictions that apply most other days of the year.

But even on this most holy of days for this Christian country the parking meters were operating.

Britain is a country where the vast majority of people are Christian. As Nigel Farndale wrote recently:

“The Queen is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. To be British is to be one of her subjects and so, unless you opt for another religion or declare yourself an atheist, you are a member of the Church of England by proxy. We are as much a Christian country as India is Hindu, or Saudi Arabia Muslim. Nearly half the population regard themselves as being Church of England, while seven in 10 described themselves as being Christian in the last census.”

Farndale could also have added “or as Israel is Jewish”.

Barnet Council’s denigration of this holy sabbath shows lack of sensitivity for the Christian religion, for Londoners and even, if they wanted the day off, the wardens themselves.

I watched from the relative safety of Florentin restaurant on Golders Green Road as people returned to their cars astonished to see a parking ticket on their windscreen. A £50 fine on Easter Sunday wasn’t what they were expecting.

For those who were astute enough to realise the meters were operating I watched as they tried to shove coins down a metre that clearly wasn’t working. Then what do you do? Do you walk to find another metre by which time you get back and could have a parking ticket on your car already?

Barnet Council should make Easter Sunday more holy next year by treating it like the bank holiday it feels and if they don’t then they need to erect big “Parking Meters operating today” signs.

Easter Sunday; a good day to be a traffic warden.

8 responses to “Parking Meters on Yom Tov.

  1. Jonathan Hoffman

    Sorry no sympathy – Easter Sunday is not a Bank Holiday. But yes, special trading rules do apply – as they do on Christmas Day.

    No Saturday or Sunday is any different from other Saturdays or Sundays for parking purposes, because a Bank Holiday cannot fall at the weekend.

  2. richardmillett

    But it feels like a bank holiday and people think parking restrictions don’t apply on Easter Sunday and are disgusted that they do! Morally they shouldn’t.

  3. “Britain is a Christian country”

    After rolling on the floor in my own piss (yes, that’s what you and Nigel made me do) with uncontrollable laughter I finally regained composure.

    I mean, I’m not even British but you Rich, you’re a ‘member of the Church of England by proxy!’ A Jewish one at that! And you publish this kind of nonsense without blinking? Have you read the comments on Nigel’s intellectual contortionism?

    To state that Britain is a Christian country isn’t only not true, it’s also an insult to the many atheists/agnostics and the multitude of non-Christian believers.

    But insults apart (we can take it…) it’s also baloney in just about every other sense, including legal. Lemmesee, after centuries of trying to subdue the evil theocracies that preceded modern secularism, an imbecilic atheist like Nigel wants to argue he lives in a… Christian country! I hope he limps for the rest of his life, with such a colossal shot in his own foot…

    Christian theocracy has lost power nearly totally. Apart from a few anachronistic remnants of the past (Bishops in the House of Lords for instance), constitutionally or by common law there is nothing Christian about this country. Traditionally CoE remains a bit the religion of the establishment, yet no non-believer or other-faithist can be stopped from attaining the highest office. One of the next PMs is likely to be Jewish for instance.

    Why do you think we now increasingly get the Church of the Whiners complain about their perceived loss of religious rights? Although by ‘loss of religious rights’ here has to be understood mainly the religious right to discriminate against those looking towards other forms of family life (very euphemistically put).

    I think you like that term [‘Britain is Christian’] because in the same breath you can mention ‘Israel is Jewish’. It is but even there it’s not that simple, what with a strong non-Jewish minority and self-proclaimed secular system of governance.

    What can be said is that most British citizens are nominally Christian (even though they hardly lead Christian lives). So what? They no longer have the power to impose their will on us. Something you should be grateful for too…

  4. richardmillett


    I am obviously not a member of the Church of England by proxy having opted for another religion. I despair!

  5. Saying ‘Britain is a Christian country’ is very much like saying ‘Britain is a White country’ or worse: ‘Britain is a White Christian country’.

    No prizes for guessing precisely who says those things…

  6. richardmillett

    The census doesn’t lie does it? Maybe it does.

  7. I didn’t say the census lied. What I’m saying is that claiming the majority of Brits consider themselves Christian (a correct statement) is not the same as claiming that this is a Christian country, which is what Nigel risibly does and you seem to endorse.

  8. I received a ticket on boxing day this year as a present from Barnet council but this is all folly, we are referring to the parking enforcement in Barnet and London on the whole, as a system that is set out to benefit the drivers and residents alike, making parking fair and available to all. However we all know that local authorities and government regrade drivers as a lucrative source of income, parking fines are handed out by incompetent officers/wardens whom on many occasions have been unable or unwilling to provide help and advice on how to park without getting a ticket, they are in fact encouraged to hand out as many tickets as possible.

    What drivers have done to deserve such treatment is beyond me, a car owner will pay for his/her tax disc every year only to be confronted with parking fees at every turn, some charging near to or more than minimum wage. It dosent stop there, as well as fuel duty and congestion charging and soaring fuel prices there is now parts of London where parking restrictions have been extended to 2300hrs. So if I wish to visit my friend on Prince of Wales Rd. in Camden from 1900hrs to 2300hrs i will have to pay £8 from parking and move my car at 2100 hrs to a different bay to avid a ticket.

    Money Money Money
    Greed Greed Greed

    These are the values by which we live in London and we pay the price daily, the currency in which we pay…… Quality of life.