We’ve all had to make long MEGA journeys from time to time and as I’ve ventured round the continent I have become very aware of one big difference between how the transit traveller in Europe is treated compared to the very same in the UK.
Basically it all boils down to one major factor: Time allowed to stop and park for!!!!!
When missioning back from the final trek of a 5 month tour round Europe I crossed overnight from mainland Europe Va Calaise to Dover. I was exhausted from hours of driving and the time spent on the ferry only made me more sleepy. Despite a coffee I decided the final 2 hours back to London would have to wait and I pulled into the 1st services I saw and slept in the tour van for 3 hours. Feeling a little recharged I made my way back to the capital arriving at my destination about 4 am.
About a week later I received a letter stating that I was parked over the limit at the English service station and was fined £60??? I did protest this and the fine was dropped. However I did hear from a friend that the fine was unlawful and they have to refund all appeals regardless of reason and the fines themselves are issued only in the hope that whomever receives them pays without appeal. A surefire filter system that must from time to time result in them getting their gold. If one does nothing the fine increases.
Anyway I am firstly writing this blog to warn folks of the above but also to dwell on the sadness it fills me to learn of coming from a country where most service stations take opportunistic steps to penalise the weary traveller. Surely for the sake of logic and safety the pit stop that is a service station should allow anyone feeling the need to rest the chance to do so. Weather they be venturing for work holiday or simply by nature the journeyman or woman is allowed not even enough for a night of purgatory sleep from a to b. Most places allow just 2 hours which for some isn’t even enough time to nod off. I just just returned from months of parking up close to the facilities of many random locations all allowing me the time I needed to refresh.
Safety should be the priority – NOT PROFIT!!!!