Glasgow markets in everything

by on May 31, 2011 at 8:52 pm in Games, Law | Permalink

A parking fine in Glasgow is £30 if paid promptly, £60 otherwise. Our entrepreneurs have other ideas. They’ll sell you a used parking ticket with a specific time on it for a tenner, which you can send to the council to “prove” that you were wrongly fined.

Here is more, pointer via Greg and also Yahel.  The intro to the story is this:

If you park your car or walk through the Osborne St car park near my flat, you are quickly approached by one or more rough looking types asking if there is any time left on your parking ticket. They’re rude and slightly threatening, so most people give up their used ticket. If it’s valid for any significant amount of time (ie. you’ve paid for the whole day or a several hour stretch and there is time remaining) they will stand by the ticket machine and sell your ticket on to the next punter. They’re not the type of people you say no to so they no doubt do a roaring trade.

But that’s not all. If you protest that your parking ticket is about to expire and is therefore useless they’ll demand it anyway. Why? This is where it gets interesting.

When the parking inspectors come past the thugs keep a keen eye on which cars they catch. On a driver returning to their car and discovering that they’ve been fined the thugs move in.

1 Bill May 31, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Sounds like better police enforcement and a sting operation would clean this up.

2 Tony May 31, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Interesting comment thread.

3 Neal June 1, 2011 at 12:54 am

I loved the first three!

4 Rahul June 1, 2011 at 12:57 am

A Glasgowian parking ticket must mean something different from what it does in the US.

5 Al June 1, 2011 at 4:09 am


How does it differ in the US?

6 Rahul June 1, 2011 at 4:38 am

I think in American usage, a ticket usually means you got fined.

7 V June 1, 2011 at 3:38 am

The parking system is probably the same as in many places in Australia – Pay & Display. You punch in the time you need your car to be parked for, put in the money, and out comes a ticket. Put the ticket on your dashboard so that it is visible from the outside through the windscreen. The parking inspector comes (at set times or at random intervals) and checks the time printed (quite prominently) on the ticket. This system is typically used in unsecured (no entry/exit barricades or boom gate; roadside parking etc.).

Now, sometimes, you might end up having quite a bit of time left on your ticket when you decide to leave. Since you don’t need the parking ticket to open any exit gates, you can just drive off. That’s when the kind of system mentioned in the post comes into play. I haven’t seen such tactics being used in Australia, but I can imagine how it might turn a tiny profit for someone.

The system won’t work for gated parking lots, of course, because you need the parking ticket to exit the lot.

8 Al June 1, 2011 at 4:16 am

Yes, a lot of parking in Glasgow, and indeed in many UK city centres, is Pay & Display.

9 Rahul June 1, 2011 at 4:41 am

I don’t understand why the guys in the article ask guys walking out of the lot (or parking their cars) for unexpired tickets. If I did have a ticket with spare time wouldn’t I already be on my way out, leaving in my car? The workflow confuses me.

10 Andy Wood June 1, 2011 at 4:54 am

They’ll approach you as you get into your car.

11 Andy Wood June 1, 2011 at 4:49 am

Rahul: “Glasgowian”.

The correct adjective is “Glaswegian”.


You are correct, it is Pay & Display car park. The nearby St Enoch Centre has a gated car park where you surrender your ticket to get out.

I park in that car park occasionally, but I’ve never come across this market in operation. Then again, I usually give those sort of characters a very wide berth whenever I see them.

I’m guessing the author is not a native Glaswegian. He writes fluent English and describes the young boys as “thugs” rather than “neds”.

12 Rahul June 1, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Thanks, “Glaswegian”! (What an odd one!)

13 guy June 1, 2011 at 8:10 am

There used to be lots in Manhattan with standard coin meters for each space. There would usually be a couple guys that would hang around all day that you could pay less than the cost of the meter. If the cops came checking meters they would run around and put coins in for everyone. I didn’t own a car at the time so I’m not sure how honestly they performed.

14 broseph June 1, 2011 at 2:53 pm

dont know where to put this, but if there ever were a “top 10 markets in everything”, then this is a contender for the ranking:

“….Mark, a software developer, had ordered the 100 micrograms of acid through a listing on the online marketplace Silk Road….”

all is transacted in bitcoin…

15 Rahul June 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm

……and Tyler continues to think bitcoins have no future.

16 farmer June 1, 2011 at 3:24 pm

@ andy wood- strongly seconded re: neds. Oddly, too, it wasn’t “chavs” (english) or “spides” (northern irish). i wonder if the author is canadian or something?

Also, i wonder if you get half-off if you guess right between Rangers and Celtic, or if you just avoid getting your head kicked in?
(hint: ALWAYS say you prefer the Hearts. Everyone will laugh, but you’ll not get your knees done)

17 Andy Wood June 1, 2011 at 6:12 pm

My guess is German, or half-German. His first name’s Matthias and he has a category for Berlin in his side-bar.

18 Andrew Montgomery June 1, 2011 at 5:45 pm

A clarification: “£30 if paid promptly” means if paid within two weeks. If you wish to appeal the ticket, you forfeit your early-payment discount, so if you lose the appeal you have to pay the full £60. Naturally this keeps the number of appeals low, which I believe is the intended effect. (Conversely, a majority of appeals are successful.)

19 Ray Ban Eyeglasses June 8, 2011 at 11:22 pm

This shows which they last very much lengthier and thus saving you income which could otherwise are actually utilized to purchase new onesyu.

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