A decade ago, parts of Britain went parking ticket mad. The number of tickets issued and the amount of money raised by councils spiralled upwards. It was claimed that one central London council actually raised more money from parking fines in one year than it did from council tax.

Even though those excesses have been mostly choked off by central government, there’s still plenty of marginal behaviour in play when it comes to parking tickets, clamping and towing.

I know this because earlier this year the Department for Transport issued a long and detailed document on this subject, titled National Guidance to Local Authorities: Parking Policy and Enforcement.

It’s a goldmine of fascinating information, because all the guidance can be clearly read as trying to stamp out various types of bad behaviour in local parking regimes.

Mind you, I’m only reading this fine document because of a run-in I had with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) at the beginning of the year.

I had an appointment at a hotel on the River Thames at Chelsea. I turned up to park for the hour in an area known as Lots Road, not too far from Stamford Bridge. Although all the parking bays were empty, the meters would only take coins and I was cashless.