Ever wondered why there is always a large queue in Argos? Ask a traffic warden

A document obtained under FOI from National Car Parks (NCP), has revealed an incentive scheme introduced last year which rewards traffic wardens with points to purchase Argos products if they help to "increase revenue".

A spokesman for NCP, one of many contractors employed by around 30 local authorities in Britain to issue parking tickets, said that the scheme was not meant to encourage wardens to give out more tickets, but to reward them for their all-round performance. However, one warden stated: " The more tickets you give, the more points you get. It goes to your Argos card."

NCP has been criticised in the past for its bonus-related schemes. Documents obtained by the Sunday Times under FOI have revealed that one traffic warden based in Westminster issued 1,444 tickets in October 2003, an average of over 60 every day. Since 1994, UK motorists have been charged with £1.35 billion in parking fines. This may go some way to explaining why there is always a large queue in Argos.

Traffic wardens in 'Argos points for tickets' row (Sunday Times, 10 April 2005)