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May Gurney again

9 Oct

May Gurney are continuing to leave signs blocking the pavement with less that the legal minimum of 1 meter for pedestrians. In the past I have emailed the company to complain and have also occasional repositioned them to legal positions.

Section D1.1.2 of chapter 8 of the Traffic Signs Manual states that ‘ Road works on or near a carriageway, cycleway or footway might impair the safety and free movement of vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians (particularly those with mobility and visual impairments)‘. Section D4.4.1 says that  ‘in no circumstances must the width of the footway be reduced to less than 1m, preferably not less than 1.5m’.

I spotted some more signs yesterday right across a pavement close to my home used by disabled people and parents with young children. Neither of these signs left 1 meter clear and they were causing more inconvenience  that the road works themselves. I contacted the Water Board for whom they were working and asked them to get May Gurney to move them within 24 hours. When May Gurney didn’t do this I removed them into safe storage to avoid injury to pedestrians and emailed the company to request that they phone me to arrange for their collection.

Illegal road works signage (again)

Another illegal (and useless) sign

Update

No response to my email after 48 hours. I am now sending out a tweet that includes @maygurney to see if that gets a response.

Double trouble – Sky and Virgin Media

8 Oct

Sky and Virgin Media have excelled themselves over the past two weeks around here. The driver of the Sky vehicle parked right across the pavement on a double-yellow line told me ‘he would park exactly where he wanted to’ (the message ‘lost’ on the side of the vehicles seems pretty appropriate in the circumstances). Neither of the three Virgin Media drivers I spoke to gave a damn.; the pair sitting waiting beside their vehicles which were completely blocking the pavement said they would leap up and move their vehicle at the first sign that a mother and child wanted to use the pavement (even though they were sitting so they wouldn’t see anyone trying to use the pavement anyway). The young driver who parked on the pavement on the double yellow outside the shop seemed to genuinely have no idea what the problem was. Do these companies give a damn? Do they have any policies on the subject?  Should their Health and Safety policies not say that they should leave pavements clear? Should a driver who blocks a pavement not face an internal disciplinary process? Possibly we should ask companies for their policies for the environment, community and safety.

A Sky driver gets lost and ends up parked right across the pavement on a double yellow line!

Two Virgin Media vans right across the pavement – drivers not interested in moving them.

Virgin Media – blocking pavement on junction on double yellow – no problem for the driver

Above the law? The Royal Mail

16 Sep

I spotted this royal mail van holding up two busy double-decker buses (with a capacity of over 100 people between them) parking on double yellow lines/no waiting area in Ipswich town centre yesterday. I pointed this out to the driver who took pleasure in getting out of the vehicle again, pointing at the royal crest on the driver’s door saying that this was royal business and they could ignore these irritating little rules; it appears that he is right, along with drivers of diplomatic vehicles they appear to be able to do what they like. I asked him to go and explain that to all the people in the buses but he declined. You will notice from the picture that there is plenty of space to park on the other side of the road avoiding any hold-up. I subsequently spotted two more Royal Mail vans up on pavements in the town soon afterwards. This is not an isolated incident, these folk up in Darwen are also getting pretty upset about their local mail vans as well.

A common theme about this whole parking malarkey is that too many people seen to think that just because it isn’t actually illegal then it must be OK to do it. Here is why it matters in this case. The map below shows where the the van was parked against a background map highlighting bus intensity (yellow is the highest, blue is lowest). Here is the location on Google Streetview. The second photo shows the van in question. Buses cost about £1 per minute to run btw ignoring for now the disruption to the many passengers who uses these popular routes.

Ipswich town centre colour coded by bus intensity

Royal Mail van blocking busy bus route

Map produced using soon-to-be-released features on ITO Map using bus data from Traveline, base mapping from OpenStreetMap & contributors, and building outlines from Ordnance Survey Settlement Line from VectorMapDistrict.

Here is the other van parked up on the pavement in town the same day.

Another Royal Mail van up on the pavement the same day

Companies behaving badly…

8 Sep

I have created a new category called ‘bad company‘ (as in ‘bad boy’) with examples of where businesses are being naughty, selfish, thoughtless or lazy in how they allow their company vehicles to be left on the pavement. I am in no way commenting on their ability to do their trade, some of them are certainly pretty good at it – only on the way they present themselves in public by their choices of parking places. I suggest that they either clean up their act or take the branding off their vehicles!

Here are a few examples taken down one short section of road at the start of a school day on the approach to a primary school. I notice that the same Specialised Fixings van features in our Rogues Gallery and that the R+J Windows van has parked in that position for at least a year. R.L Johnson repair cars, but is it necessary to making walking any less attractive? I smiled when I noticed that the A.J.Cook advertise that they ‘specialise in disabled adaptions and alterations’. What, like making the pavement even narrower by parking a big truck on the pavement outside their offices?

Needham building contractors (790mm for pedestrians)

R+J Windows (complete blockage of the path)

R.L.Johnson car repairers (400mm for pedestrians and a very dangerous corner)

Specialised fixings (again), this time leaving 500mm for pedestrians

A.J Cook building contractors on the approach to a primary school at 8:45am

A.J.Cook helpfully advertise that they specialise in ‘Disabled adaptions and alterations’

Envirocars – doing their bit to damage the planet!

30 Aug

Continuing the recent theme of highlighting companies that park their vehicles in a manner that make a mockery of their company values, here a photo of a vehicle belonging to ‘Envirocars’, a new local taxi company with a strong environmental theme parked needlessly across a verge. Every car is plastered with ‘green’ messages including one that claims ‘all emissions offset by tree planting‘ which is good, but it does mean that they are going to need to a broad range of environmental policies to avoid criticism, for example to not parking on the verges. I phoned the company and I was put through to someone who listened considerately and said they would follow it up with the driver. I would love to report at some time in the future that they put effective policies around verge and pavement parking into place so this will never happen again!

Environmentaly friendly? Hmmm….

 

Envirocars – destroying verges

 

No need to be parked on the verge at all.

Getting the attention of MPs

23 Jan

On Friday I have a meeting with my local MP, Ben Gummer,where I made a presentation of the issues and their urgency and was pleased to get his support. He offered to provide a link to the campaign from his new website when it goes live in a ‘few weeks’ and to also draw it to the attention of Norman Baker, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport with responsibility for ‘sustainable travel’. All good stuff.

As it happened, Julian Huppert, MP for Cambridge was pressing Terrasa Villiers, Minister of State for Transport in on the issue of pavement parking in the Commons on the same day saying: “Could the law be adjusted so that the presence of a vehicle in a cycle path or on a footway be taken as evidence that it was driven there, rather than appearing magically, as seems to be assumed at the moment”. Unfortunately Villiers failed to acknowledge or respond to the request. This problem isn’t going to get fixed over night!

DPD Express Parcels demonstrated the issue to be convincingly outside my MP’s office by parking diagonally across the pavement for no reason and then trying to justify it.

DPD express parcel delivery across the pavement outside my MP’s office

And then as I left I came across this nice pair of signs positioned to cause as much trouble as possible including a road works sign which maintenance companies are apparently required to leave across the pavement.

Why obstruct the pavement with warning signs!

APC Overnight and Parcel Force this time

12 Jan

By chance I spotted the same APC Overnight van and driver parking very inconsiderately on Monday outside a school at pick-up time and then again on Wednesday in the pedestrian zone in the retail zone at a time when loading wasn’t allowed. I spoke to him on Monday and he couldn’t see what the problem was. I didn’t bother to ask him today. Here are the photos:

APC Overnight across the pavement outside a primary school at pickup time on Moday

The same van and the same driver in the pedestrian zone outside loading times on Wednesday

Of course it isn’t just them. Here is a Parcel Force van blocking the pavement locally in a very comprehensive way:

ParcelForce van across pavement

And another view of the same Parcel Force van

As always, an email will be winging its way to the companies shortly. I wonder when these delivery companies will get the message?

Update

All emails to their head office PR department seem to bounce. A phone call to head office was diverted to the local branch – they don’t seem to be interested in the actions of local companies even though they have the company name on the side. The local branch was unavailable at the time. Possibly they will pick this up in due course and come back to us using the comment facility below. I may also try the local branch on the phone tomorrow morning on the phone but it is frustrating when companies make it hard to provide feedback and then don’t seem to want it.

Update 2

Just spotted this APC Overnight parked all over the pavement. I asked him to leave the pavement clear next time and park on the companies land which was available, however the driver told me that ‘he couldn’t be bothered to argue about it’.

Another APC Overnight vehicle parked right across the pavement