I READ with interest the letter from Lynn Johnston entitled: 'Double standards on double yellows'.

Having a quick look around on the internet, I discovered several reports of Ealing's traffic enforcement vehicles being parked 'illegally' in the way Lynn Johnston described.

In one reported instance, they were parked on double yellow lines in a road in Perivale, and causing an obstruction to traffic in the road, forcing motorists to have to go into the opposite lane into the path of on-coming traffic!

On Wednesday last week, I noticed there were three of these vehicles operating in the pay and display car park in Greenford. Perhaps they are there to catch people who don't put tickets in their cars, due to the fact the ticket machines in that car park are normally out of service, and you're lucky if you can find one that's working.

Ealing Council appears to be filling its coffers by hitting motorists for minor parking offences, and it must be a profitable operation for them to be operating so many vehicles, especially in the Greenford area.

Then again, with the motorists being fined £100, or £50 if they pay within 21 days of the offence, then you only have to get a few offences a day to start making a profit.

I find the whole thing highly hypocritical from the council.

On one hand, they are asking us to 'support local shops and businesses', and yet when we do, we are being penalised for it.

I recently fell foul of one of these traffic enforcement vehicles, for parking outside a local shop on Greenford Road on a Sunday afternoon at about 4.30pm.

Unfortunately, due to the slip road in front of the shops being so narrow, I parked with my wheels mounted slightly on the kerb, so other cars could get through the slip road.

There are no 'no parking' signs there, or any other signage for that matter, and I was in no way blocking the pavement for pedestrians.

I was in the shop for less than one minute, and received a £50 fine for my trouble.

OK, I'll admit it, I was in the wrong for parking on the pavement. However, in the past you would have been informed by a police officer that you couldn't park somewhere, and told to move on.

With these camera vans, the first thing you know about it is when the fine drops on to your doormat - even if you were only parked for one minute.

This sort of draconian enforcement must be severely affecting these shops (there are three shops that have already closed on this small parade), as people who may have previously popped in on their way home for a pint of milk, or a bottle of wine and have received one of these fines will probably think twice about doing so in future.

They will probably go to Tesco Perivale or somewhere where they don't have to pay to park, or are in fear of being ticketed.

Why have the council not helped these local shops by creating shortstop parking bays, which allow vehicles to be partially parked on the pavement, or perhaps widened the slip road to allow parking on both sides of it?

The answer: Because that would cost them money, and they would lose revenue by not issuing tickets to unwary motorists who stop by to support their local shops.