THE WEEKLY SUPERMARKET SHOP can be hard work — all that comparing prices, queueing to pay, fetching your bags home — but there was often an amusing distraction: tailgating-watching.
This system of avoiding fees to park at the Kingsland Centre became a minor spectator sport. One evening Loving Dalston saw three cars fanned out behind the exit gate, powerful engines idling, as they awaited the next paying car that would raise the barrier.
Whoosh!, they lined up behind the innocent driver. When the barrier went up, they slid under the boom, one after the other.
That the cars were invariably expensive models made it more amusing: the guys at the wheel liked to show off their high-up-the-range Audi, Range Rover or Mercedes-Benz yet apparently could not afford a parking permit. Truth is, of course, as Loving Dalston found when it asked several why they did it, not paying is just part of the culture of these contumacious characters.
But the scam is over. The big Kingsland High Street Sainsbury’s car park has ended that. First, the E8 2LX site’s owner, Criterion Capital ended free parking for customers (much reported in other local news outlets), and at Christmas 2018, the strongest move (not reported in other outlets), it introduced number-plate recognition and a tower of CCTV cameras to police it.
Tailgating ended overnight. But never fear: the lowlifes are bound to find another fiddle to keep us amused — and, with luck, only a little annoyed.
David Altheer 170119
* Backstory: Kingsland plan fails; New Kingsland centre, High-rise may replace Kingsland centre, Sainsbo boot polish costs more than Bolly; Cycle route to start at Dalston mural, Big money makes its move
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