Tag Archives: pavement parking

Colas “We place the highest importance on safety”

17 Aug

I spotted this highway maintenance vehicle across the pavement today making it almost impossible for a group of pedestrians with young children to get past. I also noticed that their website saysWe place the highest importance on safety” and thatThe safety of the general public, clients and our own people is our top priority“. A workman nearby used the classic excuse ‘what about the cars – they are breaking the law as well’. In fairness the guy worked for another company and quickly got on the phone to get the vehicle moved and it was gone within 10 minutes. No excuse for it being there in the first place though.

For their benefit, here are the relevant rules for heavy good vehicles (Road Traffic Act 1988 section 19 and 20). Parking a heavy commercial vehicle on pavements is an offense except where “the vehicle was parked on the verge of a road or on a footway for the purpose of loading or unloading, and (b) that the loading or unloading of the vehicle could not have been satisfactorily performed if it had not been parked on the footway or verge, and (c) that the vehicle was not left unattended at any time while it was so parked“. This vehicle was unattended, there was space on the carriageway and it had been there for at least 30 minutes. It would be great if this law had been extended to all vehicles, but it has not been. I am dropping an email to the main contact for local authority work at the company to ask him to remind his staff of this law.

Colas vehicle illegally parked on the pavement

Absolutely no reason not to be parked on the carriageway

Update

I also noticed that one of Carillion’s signs for the works was leaving only 680mm for pedestrians which is less that the one metre which is required by law (Traffic Signs Manual chapter 8 clause D4.4.1). The guy I spoke to used the rather lame excuse that “we thought it was 1 metre” but said that it would be gone within 30 minutes anyway which seemed reasonable to me. At least he knew if should be one metre. He did explain that if they put it on the carriageway then they would get blamed by motorists who then hit it! Whatever the reasoning, it is great to have some laws on our side for some of this and it is well worth complaining.

Sign illegally leaving less than 1 metre for pedestrians

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.