War heroes’ battle wages on against Tring car parking charges on Remembrance Sunday

L12-1399 Poppy wreaths on Town Hall memorial Luton.'Arfan Ali'JR 46'16.11.12
L12-1399 Poppy wreaths on Town Hall memorial Luton.'Arfan Ali'JR 46'16.11.12

A war veteran is now campaigning for the third year in a row to get council chiefs to relax parking charges in Tring for Remembrance Day.

Tom Payne, former vice chairman of the town’s Royal British Legion branch, said: “They’re sorry but not sorry. They say if they grant it to one, they have to grant it to all – but for me that’s not an argument.”

Tom – a former Second World War pilot – has been campaigning along with others for free parking on the poignant November day every year since 2010.

Three out of six campaigners have since passed away, never to realise their goal.

Tom wrote to all 51 members of Dacorum Borough Council back in 2011, but got little joy.

The retired veteran also stood up at a council meeting in the same year, and implored councillors to rethink.

The 87-year-old, formerly of Kingsley Walk, Tring, said: “The majority cannot have visited the town for themselves, otherwise they would see why the blanket rules should not be applied. One size does not fit all.”

Despite Tom’s efforts, it seems there is yet again no movement on the issue.

Council leader Andrew Williams said: “This has been the subject of much thought and debate.

“While we all hold those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom in the highest regard, we feel it would be inappropriate to change our car parking charges policy for Remembrance Day, Remembrance Sunday or any other special occasion in any part of the borough”.

Those who honour the war dead at Remembrance services – many of whom are elderly – will have to either walk downhill from the Old School Yard car park on the High Street or pay for parking in order to make it to St Peter and St Paul’s – all in potentially icy winter weather.

Tom said: “It’s too far for elderly people to walk. It’s a national day of remembrance.”