A bit of honesty from the government??

24 Oct

I was poking around some government websites over the weekend relating to ‘encroachment’ when I came across this delightful example of how discrimination against pedestrians (and indeed cyclists, motorcyclists and lorry drivers in this case) works. It comes from the ‘Homes and Communities’ section of DirectGov and expresses clearly attitudes which are common but normally unspoken:

An encroachment is where an activity unlawfully takes over a section of a public roadway; for example, a garage forecourt over-extending on to the public highway. If a person without lawful authority or excuse in any way wilfully obstructs the free passage of cars along a highway, they are guilty of an offence. In such cases the highway authority (your local council) has legal powers to enforce their removal. To report any obstructions, contact your local council.

OK, so that means that it is OK to willfully obstruct the free passage of pedestrians, wheelchair users, people with buggies and cyclists! Nice! Here is a screengrab of the webpage taken this morning.

DirectGov guidance on obstruction (screen grab from 24 October 2011)

I have already used the feedback box to suggest that they change this page and make it more inclusive. Others may wish to do the same.

2 Responses to “A bit of honesty from the government??”

  1. SteveL October 24, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    I followed the link to Bristol Council, where they have space for everything (trees, potholes) except cars blocking pavements, so I filled in their form to see what happens


  2. Graham Martin-Royle October 24, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

    My last attempt at getting Sussex Police to do anything about pavement parking brought forth this response,
    “Graham, about a year ago or so CJU or CTSU the office responsible for pursuing tickets offences ruled that in the case of obstruction offences the ticket would only be pursued if the vehicle caused an obstruction to pedestrians. Not any obstruction to pedestrians, but such that a lady with pushchair or a wheelchair could not pass the obstructing vehicle .If either could pass then although technically an offence was comitted the office would not take the matter further.

    In addition CPS has ruled that in the case of obstructions near a junction that the old BE41 Unnecessary Obstruction offence cannot be used and that Dangerous Position would be used instead. This of course means that the driver has to be present for the ticket to be issued.

    These are the decisions by which we have to comply. Whilst I empathise with your viewpoint I am unable to ticket the majority of those vehicles you have photographed for the reasons I have given.


    Sussex Police – Serving Sussex”
    Again, total discrimination against pedestrians, they admit that an offence has been committed but can’t be arsed to follow it up, treating pedestrians as second class yet again.

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