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Changes to Parking Laws in England

Updated on September 15, 2018
ethel smith profile image

Born in the 1950s in Yorkshire where she still lives this English woman has a keen interest in politics, travel, music and animal welfare

Prime example


England, or rather many of its citizens. is engaged in a love affair with the car, and that is negatively impacting on some cities and towns.

For those of us who live in what is termed terraced houses it can mean the decimation of gardens. Now, fair enough some people have nowhere else to safely park their cars. However, where I live for example, every house has its own garage within their rear garden area.

Still, our local council in all its wisdom, has let people block pave their front gardens, in order for these people to be able to park their vehicles. If we had large gardens I guess it would not matter so much as we would be able to combine a garden area with a parking area.

However this is not possible.

Gardens have been destroyed and the council has greedily taken the money it charges residents, to drop the kerb or curb outside their garden and tarmac this piece of pavement, so that it is conveniently sloped for vehicle access.

I will use where I live as a prime example of such a council's stupidity.

Our area suffered severe flooding in June 2007. It was a known fact that reducing gardens to concrete jungles had, and would continue, to impact on this.

One side of our road allows parking but at the side where I live there are double yellow lines. Driving is one way.

LObviously turning gardens into open air garages will have less impact on the side with double yellow lines. However most of the gardens at the side with parking allowed have been paved.

Once people have paid to have their section of kerb and pavement or sidewalk altered they are reluctant to let anyone park outside their home.

Well lucky them, the Government has changed the parking laws to accommodate these people.

It‘s strange isn’t it, when you consider that at one time the government claimed to be against such block paving because it was detrimental to the environment. I wonder if the money councils are charging is a contributory factor in this change of heart?

The changing parking laws

Local press reported this week that parking laws are changing. Here is what it says:-

Parking your car across a pedestrian crossing point is inconsiderate and can be dangerous for pedestrians and people with disabilities.

In June 2009 the Government made it a national offence to park so that your vehicle obstructs a dropped kerb.

From Monday August 31, 2009, the driver of any vehicle so parked, in our city, will receive a £70 parking penalty notice.

My opinion

First let me say that I have no vehicle. Yes I hear you shouting well its alright for you then. However, like all of my neighbours I have a large garage.

Today showed a prime example of our councils stupidity.

A large dust cart, or refuse collection service, was patrolling the area in order to collect extra household waste. This was a great idea aimed at preventing people dumping large furniture and other household items anywhere and everywhere.

Lo and behold I heard this mighty vehicle running its engine and saw that it was parked slap bang outside of my home. As it was Saturday, my Hubby was trying to sleep, as he had done a night shift Friday and was due to work the same Saturday.

I went out and politely asked the driver to move or turn off the engine. He seemed a nice guy and was very apologetic, and did move on.

However, as he said he had parked there because "with all the dropped kerbs there were not many places that he could park".

Of course he was parked on double yellow lines outside of my home, but I suppose that's alright?

In the past, even before these new laws I, and others, have had large vehicles parked half on the pavement and half in the road outside of our homes, as they could not park in front of a dropped kerb. This has knackered the pavement and meant that pedestrians have to walk along the road.

The pavements are now a hotch potch of uneven tarmac due to cheap repairs by the council and where each sloped pavement starts and stops. Even if two houses, next door to each other, have this alteration done there is usually a gap in between. Partially sighted, the elderly and those with mobility issues have to manoeuvre this unsafe wibbly wobbly way.

With relatives who are not young spring chickens parking blocks away from me and walking the last lap to our home I find it more than annoying that some people just choose to park on the pavement.

It would seem that as long as a dropped kerb is not blocked it does not matter. This of course adds to the poor condition of the paths and pavements.

Of course if I read these new laws correctly vehicles will no longer be able to be parked on pavements but I doubt this will be enforced. It never has in the past even when access has been blocked.

So I wonder how will these new laws will be monitored?

In the past when vehicles have been blocking pavements, as they are parked on them, no response has ever been forthcoming.

I would also like to ask if the people who have dropped kerbs, who then let their friends and relatives park so that this exit is blocked, will also be penalized?

In conclusion

On the whole the issue is a minefield.

The best way to solve the parking problem where I live would be to make it No Parking, Full Stop. This would stop some of the petty arguments which I have witnessed and which seem a problem currently.

I guess the only way this problem will be solved though is if every property has this dropped kerb facility.

Surely the council does not want that though, or do they?

It is obviously lucrative for them and a cheap way for the council to re tarmac pavements.

© 2009 Ethel Smith


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