I must admit that I already have trouble thinking about Norwich without mental reference to that city's most famous fictional son, Alan Partridge. And I'm sure that Steve Coogan's comic creation would have something politically incorrect to say about the local council's reported plans to differentiate the cost of its parking permits according to a car's length. (His Rover 827 would have fallen well inside the largest 14 ft 7 inch and longer category.)

This was the place that tried to cut down a line of Horse Chestnut trees on the grounds that conkers were a health n' safety hazard. But even by the standards of such previous lunacy, this proposal stands out as something especially daft.

The council's logic - so far as it has any - is not just that longer vehicles take up more parking space, but also that they tend to have higher emissions. It's a point of view that no more than 30 seconds spent with the back section of What Car? could comprehensively de-bunk, not least as the Toyota Prius falls into the longest and most expensive category.

Oh, and even more amusingly, the 12' 7" Land Rover Defender 90 would fall into the shortest and cheapest category, despite putting out 266g/km of CO2 and having a turning circle that would rival a mid-sized supertanker. Compact, eco-friendly urban transportation it is not.