Barrister flouts parking rules..

This is not a barrister deliberately flouting the road traffic legislation or riding en route to the Court of Appeal to ask the judges to rule in his favour after his failed application to injunct Islington Council.

The Times reports… “A barrister claimed yesterday that his motorcycle is immune to parking tickets because its wheels do not touch the ground when it is parked.” (It is parked on a centre stand!)

The parking regulations state that an offence is committed “when a motor vehicle is “parked with one or more wheels on any part of an urban road”.

Clive Wolman of 11 Stone Buildings, a journo turned barrister, has had 100 parking tickets, apparently. At 80 quid a go (presumably more now, per ticket – as he may not have paid the fines. This is not immediately clear from the report in the Times) … well, as they say, you do the Maths.

Mr Wolman’s argument turns on a point that “Deputy Circuit Judge Robin Laurie had misinterpreted the meaning of “on”. “

Well… do I need to spend part of my life, as it drains away, discussing statutory interpretation? The Court of Appeal has reserved judgment. Ruthie of Ruthie’s Law and the new Mystery Silk have a lively view.

Do I need to give a view at all? Well… yes, qua biker. Apart from all the usual guff about FREE bike bays being available with reasonable frequency (we could always use more), the fact that a biker may park his / her bike in a parking space (for a fee), the fact that we all have to put up with parking regulations, whether it is a good use of Court of Appeal time… etc etc etc…

My own view is that Mr Wolman needs to get a serious motorbike, some leather chaps, a polished chrome german army style helmet and and a bit of attitude. A 500 cc Suzuki ( a perfectly good bike for commuting etc) is not going to cut it down at the Inns of Court Hell’s Angel Chapter, at Box Hill, the Ace Cafe, or indeed, with many bikers.

Parking his bike on a centre stand, illegally, and then taking the Council to court? I ask you… not exactly ‘street bike’, not exactly radical. In fact a bit of a dull thing thing to do…. and I speak only as a biker. I would not wish Mr Wolman to construe what follows as incitement to commit any more infringements of the road traffic and parking regulations – but…. smoking a cigarette while riding (perfectly possible with an open face helmet), a wheelie or two…. perhaps the odd burn-out or ‘do-nut’… now you are talking radical.

I await the judgment of the Court of Appeal on this matter with interest. For some reason I am singing “Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Wolman…” – to the tune of Dad’s Army, of course!

And.. now I am going to do a bit of jaywalking and nip off to The Bollo for a medicinal glass to calm my vapours after reading about this strange case. Mind you… quite clever, really, when you think about it. Mr “Steppenwolf” Wolman has got into the papers, has the undivided attention of senior members of the, soon to be wigless, judiciary and may well come to the attention of Muttley Dastardly LLP if he wins the case. Hey… who cares… we were all ‘born to be wild’.

Make good progress… and wheelie…. and, on that note – I go to bed to watch news… for tomorrow, as usual, I ride against the French.

2 thoughts on “Barrister flouts parking rules..

  1. I am surpised that no one has looked into this story in any depth. There is plently to be found on google.

    Mr W appears to have been in a long-standing dispute with Islington traffic wardens, who keep ticketing Mr W’s motorbike. Mr W parks it on his own private land, but traffic regulations apply because there is a right of way.

    I am not sure, but suspect that for many years Mr W parked happily, but that the wardens suddenly started ticketing the bike. Mr W complied for a while and parked elsewhere, but had several bikes stolen or vandalised.

    Now,Mr W parks on his land and has reeived 80 tickets. Apparently Mr W has had all of them cancelled on appeal, because the regulations expressly state that an offence is commited only when one of the wheeels is touching the ground.

    Mr W parks his bike so that its weight is supported by the stand.

    However, the wardens keep issuing the tickets and Mr W is seeking an injunction against them.
    Mr W failed to obtain one at Wandsworth County Court, and has now taken it to the Court of Appeal.

    Goodness knows how much money this has cost, but the story does not end there. Last year, the House of Lords was dule to hear a reading of some legislation that would, amongst other things, remove the ‘no wheels’ loophole.

    Mr W petitioned the House of Lords in the hope of keeping the loophole in place. There is an amusing transcript of Mr W presenting his arguments-not a tremendous advertisement for his skills as a barrister, I am afraid.

    Anyway Mr W lost, so I presume the loophole will disappear.

    As they say, you couldn’t make it up

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