Tag Archives: ipswich

£50K fine and 5 years in prison for rubbish on the pavement – bins and cars are fine though

1 Sep

The council has recently put up signs in the area warning of penalties including fines of up to 50K fines and five years in prison for dumping rubbish on the pavement. Serious stuff! I assume there are referring to the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (section 33). Unfortunately they then go and leave wheelie-bins all over the pavement every week after collection! The following two pictures are taken on the same street. The first shows signs warning that dog poo on the pavement costs up to £1,000 and the fines for fly-tipping. The second photo shows how the council leave bins all over the pavement after emptying them for no good reason that I can discover. Cars on the pavement are not being challenged of course.

No dumping of waste £50K fine

Bins all over the on the pavement again after collection by council

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

DHL’s ‘cost-effective delivery solutions’

8 Dec

DHL claims to offer ‘rapid, reliable and cost-effective delivery solutions’. Certainly no additional costs were incurred today when delivering to a house opposite a primary school at pick-up time. The unmarked car was parked diagonally across a raised school crossing in a ‘school zone’ on a single yellow line within its active period right across the pavement. The driver was wearing a DHL tabard and as is usually the case explained that ‘he had only been there a few minutes’. He was however relaxed and wasn’t aggressive at all which makes a nice change.

An unmarked car delivering for DHL

The driver was wearing a DHL tabard

I guess that it is more cost effective to park across the pavement than to park a little way down the street and walk. As always an email is winging its way to their marketing department and I will provide an update in due course.

The same crossing takes poll position in our Rogues’ gallery where a Jaguar and a Mercedes shared it nose to nose, very sweet! I also commented on the way that even when there isn’t a car completely blocking the pavement that the 88% of the people who walk to the school have only 18% of the space. Also that the school crossing patrol at the end of the street is likely to be lost when the person doing it retires in the spring. So much for the ‘war on the motorist!‘.

It has been suggested – see comments – that they get their inspiration for this dynamic and never-say-never approach to ‘on-time’ delivery from Lieutenant Frank Drebin in Police Squad, played by the recently departed Leslie Nielsen.

Update

We are in communication and DHL are puzzled. Their staff do not used unmarked cars, however they did sell their local delivery business to HomeLink recently and that company was evidently allowed to use DHL branding for a period of time which is not up yet. They are checking with HomeLink.

After making two phone calls to DHL where they promised to look into the issue I have heard nothing. Not very impressive really. I will keep my eyes open for the next occurrence.

Willful ignorance?

25 Nov

I passed a UK Mail delivery van parked on the zig-zag lines by a pedestrian crossing yesterday. I asked him politely to move and he responded saying he was allowed to stay there for 5 minutes. wrong! When I challenged him I got a tirade of abuse including words beginning with F and P together with the ‘get a real job’ and ‘people like you need a smack in the gob’ etc. Not exactly what on expects from postman pat! Update… see bottom of post for an impressive, prompt and helpful response from UK Mail to this particular incident.

Zig zag man

It is, of course, a criminal offense to even stop on the zig-zag lines. To quote: “The only time in which it could be permitted to stop on zigzag lines is in the case of an emergency or where the reason that the vehicle came to a halt was beyond the driver’s control”. Rule 240 of the highway code says You MUST NOT stop or park on …”a pedestrian crossing, including the area marked by the zig-zag lines”. The actual legislation is in ‘The Zebra, Pelican and Puffin Pedestrian Crossings Regulations and General Directions 1997’ (Section 18). The markings are defined in schedule 4.

I notice that their website implies that these drivers are self employed and that the job is ‘fast-paced, exciting, challenging – and lucrative.’ ‘An average day will see me make in excess of 100 deliveries and 20 plus collections.’ and ‘it requires energy, adrenaline and vitality in bundles.’ They do also say that ‘UK Mail invests a lot of time and effort in training and supporting its staff’ however that doesn’t seem to include training about the Highway Code. It is a public company which operates 3,500 vehicle from 50 sites and made £17m profit last year. It says that it is committed to pushing the boundaries of the postal and express delivery markets. Ummm, does that include parking?

The choice of these huge vehicles is of course a business decision as is the number of deliveries required in a day as is the decision to incentivise the drivers and celebrate speed on their website. The drivers lack of knowledge of the law seems to fall into the category of ‘willful ignorance‘ which is a very common condition amongst poor parkers! Of course if the drivers are really expected to do 120 deliveries/collections in a day (lets assume a long 10 hours) then that is one every 5 minutes which doesn’t give much time to find a parking spot each time in such a large vehicle when they also have traffic to deal with and finding the person to sign for the package.

This is the third time in a few weeks that we have experienced an aggressive response to poor parking choices by people driving professional vehicles who have all said that they are parking legally. Personally I feel it is an issue we will see time and time again until these companies feel financial and brand pain. As usual I will contact the company and see what they say.

Update – success!
Within 1 hour of emailing the head office I have received both an email and a phone call from the local UK Mail manager and he is taking it seriously. Very impressive! To quote from his email (with him permisssion). I hope that the driver will also be taking this important message on board.

“Here at Ipswich we pride ourselves on our customer service and try to
maintain very high standards in both performance and customer service.
However when these standards slip I need to take action quickly and through
your feedback this will allow me to do so.

“The individual will be brought to task, and will not be driving until after
his interview Friday, please take my assurances that If after interview he
retains his job he will not be repeating his actions again

“Please feel free to contact me if you or your organisation ever note
anything that would be deemed as unacceptable again. We are not above the law and however “pressurised” it appears my people are I do not accept such actions.