Tag Archives: pavement parking

Encroachment, obstruction, interference and nuisance

17 Jan

Suffolk County council explain on their website, that they “have a duty to protect the public rights of passage on the road and footpath network”; also that they have a duty to ensure that roads are free from “danger, encroachments, interference, nuisance and obstructions” and that their officers “are sometimes required to deal with businesses and individuals who obstruct or otherwise interfere with the rights of the public to use the road.” OK, so why are they not ‘dealing’ with the owners of these vehicles (and bins) who are encroaching on the highway, creating danger and interfering with the rights of the public to use the road, and use the pavement in particular?

Almost onto private property, but not quite!

Encroaching on the pavement from both sides at once

Ouch. No chance of getting along here.

Bins everywhere but no action from the authorities

Encroaching from both sides

A Parcelforce van this time, optimism knows no bounds!

Same old story, big car, small hard-standing and a pincer movement

More big cars ‘stealing’ part of the highway

A nasty tow-hook on this one

The pavement is impassible and the dropped kerb has been broken up by the weight of vehicles

These two vans have claimed this pavement as their permanent parking space

I will ask the council and my MP, Ben Gummer about this and see what they have to say.

Pavement parking sorted :)

28 Dec

Well here’s an approach to pavement parking that will definitely get the attention of the police 🙂

 

Car park this way!

7 Nov

Matthews parked their van fully across the pavement right next to their own (empty) off-street parking bay and by a sign pointing to their car park a few days ago. As a results pedestrians have to navigate through their parking bay avoiding both the ‘pavement sign’ and the bollards to get past or to take their chances in the road. To their credit the company did immediately move the vehicle but the driver did say ‘it has never been a problem before’. Possibly not for the company, but for blind people it is one of the reasons why most blind people never go out. This is not a new concern however, back in 2002 the issues for blind people were the same.

Car park this way!

Another view of the same vehicle.

Update

The van was back in exactly the same location today. The staff see absolutely no problem what they are doing, and believe that blind and disabled people and everyone else would be able to find their way around the vehicle with no problems at all.

They repeat that no one has ever complained. Odd when the police must go up that road every day. Not only are then 100% obstructing the pavement, they are also on a single yellow line during its period of operation (which of course covers the pavement as well as the road). However… the police have never been very keen about enforcing these regulations.

 

Royal mail – An attitude problem?

7 Nov

Why on earth is this driver parking on the pavement? Normally the excuse is ‘I had to park on the pavement’, but in this case there are virtually no over vehicles in view. A different royal mail vehicle parked in exactly the same position the previous week – when I asked why he didn’t park across the road 20 meters away on the carriageway the driver explained that it was ‘too far’. This it not an isolated case unfortunately. There are more below and a few weeks back I blogged about this royal mail vehicle that obstructed two double decker buses in the centre of Ipswich. The driver explained that he could park exactly where he felt like because he was working for the crown!

Why park on the pavement when the road is empty!

Proper pavement parking

Not getting out, just sitting there on a double yellow with the door open while having a chat

Personally I think it is for the Royal Mail to do something about this. They need to do more ‘pedestrian awareness’ training or whatever and prove that they take the issue seriously. If they continue to park like this they will continue doing serious damage to their reputation.

Leaving structures on the highway

8 Oct

Section 143 of the Highways Act 1980 gives authorities powers to remove any “structure [that] has been erected or set up on a highway“, including “any machine, pump, post or other object of such a nature as to be capable of causing obstruction notwithstanding that it is on wheels”. This is interesting. This covers things that ‘are capable of causing an obstruction’ with no requirement to prove that it was an ‘unnecessary obstruction’ and a ‘willful obstruction’ and that anyone was actual obstructed all of which make other obstruction regulations pretty much useless.

So… the question of course is when is a vehicle a structure and covered by this act. I have been looking out recently for mobile homes and similar stuff. Here are a few examples. The first one is, I understand, owned by an active member of the green party who prefers to leave it on the road / pavement rather cluttering up his pretty front garden. The second one is appropriately called a ‘highwayman’ (as in highway robbery?). The final three pictures show a very large caravan which has been left on the verge for so long that the grass has died under it. Possibly the magic ingredient is the number plate – even the caravan has a number plate (even though one doesn’t actually need to pay any vehicle tax for a number plate for a caravan). I would so love to stick up a shed on the highway and see how long it took for the council to come round an complain! My guess is that they would be round within 24 hours demanding that it was removed. Possibly I should put a number plate on it?

Mobile home left almost permanently on the pavement

This one is even called ‘Highwayman’

Huge caravan almost permanently on the verge

A 4×4, caravan, car and large van outside one house

Clearly this caravan hardly ever moves from here

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

HGV spotters guide

10 Sep

Heavy commercial vehicles (ie, goods vehicles with a gross weight of over 3.5 7.5 tonnes) are uniquely subject to a pretty comprehensive ban in respect to parking on the footway or verge thanks to the Road Traffic Act 1988 (Section 19 and 20, Highway Code rule 246). The only exceptions being when they are “unloading in situations where they are not creating a danger and are not causing an obstruction and are where the vehicle is at no time left unattended” or alternatively if they are stopping to save a life put out a fire!

Unfortunately… there appears to be no way to tell from the outside if an HGV is over or under 7.5 tonnes because all HGVs, including the smaller ones with gross vehicle weights of between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes have the letters HGV on their tax disks. The only way is to ask the driver who is probably not going to tell you if he is being naughty! Here is some basic information to tell the difference between them all.

Heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) over 7.5 tonnes

These vehicles which are over 7.5 tonnes, also sometimes referred to as ‘large goods vehicles’ are not allowed to park on the pavement as detailed above. The driver of this vehicle (which I believe to be over 7.5 tonnes) is causing such an offense as he shares a cup of tea and a chat with the staff in ‘Motormania’ while blocking the pavement and delaying traffic and buses on a busy road because there is a place round the back to park and he has left the vehicle ‘unaccompanied’. The cement mixer, also over 7.5 tonnes is probably doing loads of damage to the pavement and there seems to be no good reason for it not to be on carriageway so that one is also causing an offence. All of these vehicles have the letters HGV on their tax disks, but unfortunately so do the smaller HGVs and there is no reliable way to tell if a particular vehicle is over 7.5 tonnes.

HGV with two wheels on the footway – an immediate offence

This is definitely an HGV!

Heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) under 7.5 tonnes

These vehicles, known either as ‘medium goods vehicles’, ‘7.5 tonners’, ‘large goods vehicles’ or HGVs are unfortunately below the weight limit re the 1988 Act and can therefore can park all over the pavements to the same extent that cars can! In addition, there is no way to be sure if it is under over the 7.5 tonne limit or over. The vehicle in the picture below was parked completely legally btw and the driver was very helpful which is why I knew it was just below 7.5 tonnes.

This vehicle is just under 7.5 tonnes (and was parked in a proper parking bay)

Light goods vehicles (LGVs) under 3.5 tonnes

These lighter vehicles, known either as ‘light goods vehicles’ or more correctly as ‘light commercial vehicles’ are also subject to the same weak and ineffective rules as cars. They have ‘LGV’ on their tax disks. Clearly these guys are being pretty thoughtless and the police may consider that they are causing an obstruction, but there is no cut-and-dry offense as there is for the large HGVs. The first guys appeared to make the obstruction even worse by leaving the driver’s door open after I had unsuccessfully  tried to get them to move it off the pavement. The second vehicle (with trailer) often parks on the pavement  but doesn’t always have another car on the back – it must be doing a load of damage to the pavement.  The final vehicle is very tall and wide and leaves very little space for anyone to get by but is not quite an HGV. Why on earth do these companies think it is ok to leave vehicles like these on residential streets every night – I guess it is because it is much cheaper and easier for them and their staff than doing the considerate thing- nice!

Light commerical vehicle (LGV) on the pavement – not in itself an offence

Flatbed truck – also a ‘light commercial vehicle’ (LGV on tax disk)

Specialised fixings (again)

Confusing terminology

The terms in use at present are pretty confusing. Here is a quick primer. The new official harmonised EU term for an HGV is ‘Large goods vehicle’ which has abbreviation of LGV and was adopted in 2001; the EU also recommended the term ‘Light commercial vehicle’ for the goods vehicles of less than 3.5 tonnes at the same time. Unfortunately the UK previously used the abbreviation LGV for ‘Light goods vehicle’ and the DfT is still in a muddle over these terms some parts of the department using LGV for HGVs and other parts (including VOSA) using LGV for the smaller vehicles. To make it worse the DfT also uses the term ‘medium goods vehicle’ for the smaller end of ‘large goods vehicles’ (ones between 3.5 tonnes and  7.5 tonnes) meaning that a vehicle can both be a ‘medium goods vehicle’ and also a ‘large goods vehicles’ at the same time! They also sometimes use the term ‘larger goods vehicle’ which may be different from a large goods vehicle or possibly not – I have no idea. Anyway, all heavy goods vehicles (including the medium goods vehicles) have the letters HGV written clearly on their tax disk because VOSA does that bit and uses the older terms and also puts  LGV on the tax disks of smaller vehicles.

Update

I have updated this article following further investigation into how one can tell the different classes of HGV apart (one can’t it seems!).

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’

Things you mustn’t do!

5 Sep

The law has protected pedestrians and other road users over the years from virtually every intrusion into the footway and carriageway except that caused by parked cars. There are some gems contained within section 28 of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847, all of which carry fines of up to ÂŁ1,000 and a stay in prison of up to 14 days if one is found to have caused an obstruction, annoyance, or danger. Major sins include beating one’s doormat in the street after 8am and fastening a horse so that it stands across the footway. Those at risk include everyone who…

  • Causes any sledge, truck, or barrow to stand longer than is necessary on the highway for loading or unloading goods, or for taking up or setting down passengers (except hackney carriages or ‘public carriages’ but then only in designated places)
  • Places or leaves any furniture, goods, wares, or merchandize, or any cask, tub, basket, pail, or bucket on any footway
  • Hangs up any goods, wares, merchandize, matter, or thing whatsoever, so that the same project into or over any footway, or beyond the line of any house, shop, or building so as to obstruct or incommode the passage of any person over or along such footway
  • Places any blind, shade, covering, awning, or other projection over or along any such footway, unless such blind, shade, covering, awning, or other projection is eight feet in height at least in every part thereof from the ground:
  • Fixes or places any flower-pot or box, or other heavy article, in any upper window, without sufficiently guarding the same against being blown down:
  • Throws or lays any dirt, litter, or ashes, or nightsoil, or any carrion, fish, offal, or rubbish, on any street, or causes any offensive matter to run from any manufactory, brewery, slaughter-house, butcher’s shop, or dunghill into any street.
  • Beats or shakes any carpet, rug, or mat (except door mats, beaten or shaken before the hour of eight in the morning):
  • Fastens any horse or other animal so that it stands across or upon any footway
  • Rolls or carries any cask, tub, hoop, or wheel, or any ladder, plank, pole, timber, or log of wood, upon any footway
  • Cleanses, hoops, fires, washes, or scalds any cask or tub, or hews, saws, bores, or cuts any timber or stone, or slacks, sifts, or screens any lime:
  • Makes or repairs any part of any cart or carriage (except in cases of accident where repair on the spot is necessary)
  • Keeps any pigstye to the front of any street, not being shut out from such street by a sufficient wall or fence, or who keeps any swine in or near any street, so as to be a common nuisance
  • Cleans, dresses, exercises, trains or breaks, or turns loose any horse or animal
  • Shoes, bleeds, or farries any horse or animal (except in cases of accident)
  • Slaughters any cattle, except in the case of any cattle over-driven which may have met with any accident

So… it appears that if the Mercedes was a horse or indeed any of the following (barrow, basket, bucket, cask, furniture, goods, horse, merchandize, pail, sledge, truck, tub) and if it was found to have caused obstruction, annoyance, or danger then the owner would be liable for a fine or up the ÂŁ1,000 or even up to 14 days in prison!

500mm between these two cars

Fighting on the home front and elsewhere

22 Aug

First the real fighting. Two businessmen were shot dead in Forest Gate, East London recently after asked a driver to move his vehicle from behind their hotel. In Carlisle a driver who headbutted a special constable in a parking row has been electronically-tagged.

Over in China there have also been deaths. In one incident four workers were apparently killed and 16 injured and others were blown up with dynamite after a fight broke out over a parking space in Longnan City, Gansu Province, China and then there was the incident in Qianxi, Guizhou, China where hundreds of people rioted, set fire to vehicles, blocked streets and injured several policemen after a local officials apparently shoved an elderly woman who had parked her motorbike illegally.

I am glad to say that things seem to be a bit calmer elsewhere. Possibly Britain isn’t completely ‘broken’ after all!

In Darwen local people are complaining about post office vans being parked across the pavement outside the post office.

Post office vans blocking the pavement in Darwen (copyright image)

Meanwhile, a local resident in Henley paid Oxfordshire County Council ÂŁ2,000 to install bollards to stop pavement parking outside his house, only to be told that it is a conservation area, that the pavement was listed and that the bollards would have to go!

Henley – a row about bollards (copyright image)

Over in Tipton, West Midlands residents were confused when a short section of newly created red route (which gives priority for buses and bans parking) was removed within weeks and replaced by parking bays marked out half on the carriageway and half on the pavement!

New red route replaced with parking bay across pavement and carriageway (copyright image)

Up in Alnwick wheeelchair users are complaining about the fact that motorists are blocking the few available dropped-kerbs which allow them to cross the road. One man explained that “Unless someone has sat in a wheelchair and done it, I don’t think they appreciate the difficulties”.

Residents in Lynn, Norfolk say the problem of pavement parking is getting much worse. One person explained “It’s becoming almost impossible to walk down a pavement in most of the older part of the town without having to squeeze past parked vehicles. It’s not just scooter users that suffer, either. It’s getting increasingly difficult to negotiate a pushchair or even carry bags along our pavements.” Residents in a street in Worcester are fed up with their street being used by staff and customers of nearby businesses park who park their cars on the pavement and block driveways. Top Gear apologised for parking their electric car in a disabled parking bay.

However In Stretton, Staffordshire residents are complaining about parking being restricted to 1 hour only. One resident complained “I used to be a taxi driver before I retired and my taxi used to be parked outside all night long without any problem,” he said, “Now if my daughter comes to see me she can only stop an hour or she gets a ticket.” They are being offered an option of ‘no change, two hours, residents parking permits or to remove all parking restrictions. These residents do not in fact have any legal right to park on the highway at all!

But then there are the 40 residents in Wargrave who ‘packed a public meeting’ to complain about the loss of 8 parking bays in the village. One resident asked “What are we meant to do when we can’t get into the car park because it is full?“. Sigh!!