People parking poorly is something that often gets peoples goat – whether it’s someones parking blocking your access point or causing a traffic disruption. Of course if you have a separate driveway, courtyard or parking space that can help with parking problems but issues do still sometimes happen.
Having off street parking not only increases the value of a property but it also reduces neighbour arguments over parking.
The Highway Code can explain and guide you through parking rules and regulations set out in the different pieces of traffic and road legislation. The following list shows some of the places where you should not park or wait:
- on double yellow lines at any time (unless you have a disabled parking permit,) the penalty for this can be a £30 fine or having your car towed with a cost of £150 to get it back
- on single yellow lines at the times stated on corresponding signs
- on a pedestrian crossing, if you park on the zig-zag lines, therefore causing an obstruction, you may be liable for a £30 fine and could even have your vehicle impounded with a cost of £150 to get it back
- on a pavement or footpath in a manner to cause an obstruction, the penalty for this can be a fixed fine
- fully or partly on council owned grass verges (if the land is privately owned you can park there with the owners permission)
- on school entrance markings
- unless you are entitled to, in spaces assigned to other residents, disabled people, or motorbikes
- anywhere that will prevent access to the Emergency Services
- at or near a bus stop
- 0pposite or within 10 metres of a junction
- over a dropped kerb (see section below.)
Many parking disputes rise over people not observing parking ‘etiquette’ on the street or in the courtyard where you live, however etiquette and the law are two totally different issues.
What the Law says.
The law says as long as your vehicle is taxed and you are not contravening any other traffic laws, you are allowed to park anywhere on a public highway (but not on footpaths/pavements) where it is legal to do so.
Parking outside your own House
If you don’t have your own courtyard, driveway or designated parking space then you may have to park on the street. Etiquette, good manners and common sense are the main ingredients in avoiding parking disputes with your neighbours. Most people choose to park outside their own home because of the convenience, but what if you have more than one vehicle belonging to a single property and their are no driveways.
No Automatic Right to Park Outside your Home
Basically, it an unwritten rule that people will generally tend to park outside their own home but it’s important to note that no one has an automatic right to do so. Other residents and road users have the right to park outside your home providing they are not contravening the Highway Code.
If you find this happening and you’d rather it didn’t, the best thing to do is have a friendly word with your neighbour and explain to them why you’d prefer to park in front of your own house. Remember they aren’t breaking the law. You may find that they didn’t realise it bothered you and the problem is solved.
The Big Issue – Parking Directly in Front of a Person’s Driveway
This is by far the single most frequent cause of annoyance and arguments between neighbours, however, the law does not help in this regard. It’s common courtesy not to park directly in front of the driveway on another persons property, as they may need to get in or out of the property with their vehicle. If you’ve blocked someones vehicular access to their property this will cause the vast majority, if not everybody, to become annoyed and try to locate the owner of the vehicle to get them to move it. Therefore, most neighbourly people will never park directly in front of someones driveway.
So what does the Law say?
The Highway Code, paragraph 207, asks that people DO NOT park their vehicle where it might cause obstruction to other pedestrians or road users, and cites the example of not parking in front of another person’s driveway.
In essence, while there are certain rules and regulations under the Highway Code relating to parking on public highways, mostly it’s a matter of common decency or courtesy. Speaking calmly to neighbours and explaining reasons why you might need to park here or there, if practical, will usually result in you getting what you want. Remember though, however, that unless they are breaking the law people are entitled to park anywhere on a public highway providing they aren’t in breach of the Highway Code.
If you have a dropped kerb at the end of your driveway the Traffic Management Act 2004 might help you. This act covers restrctions on parking where a kerb has been dropped for a number of reasons including for the purpose of ‘assisting vehicles entering or leaving the carriageway across the footway, cycle track or verge.’ There are however some exceptions to these restriction including the following:
- the vehicle is parked outside residential premises ‘by or with the consent (but not for payment) of the occupier of the premises’ however this exception does not apply with a shared driveway
- the vehicle parked is an emergency vehicle
- a vehicle is being used for the purposes of delivering goods/unloading at the premises (has to be ‘reasonable’ and for not longer than 20 minutes)
- the vehicle parked is undertaking any building, signing, utilities or sewer works, collecting waste on behalf the local authority or removing a traffic obstruction.
If you think you could have a case under this piece of legislation first try to find and speak to the vehicle owner, and in a friendly and polite manner, tell them about the act and that you’d like to get your vehicle out. If they refuse, call the police on 101 – not 999 (it’s more than likely not an emergency and if it is, the vehicle owner will probably co-operate with you anyway.) Tell the police about the problem, how long the vehicle has been there and that you need to get your car out.
Fines and Enforcement
On street parking within Nuneaton and Bedworth is the responsibility of Warwickshire County Council. The day to day operation of the on-street parking service is carried out on the Council’s behalf by NSL under a contractual relationship.
NSL employ Civil Enforcement Officers who do the on street patrols across Nuneaton and Bedworth.
If you have a parking problem you can contact NSL and request them to undertake enforcement activities in a particular street or area. They seek to respond to requests for enforcement within one hour during their core hours of operation where the request comes from an area with enforceable control that has not been subject to regular recent patrols.
NSL’s core operating hours are from 7.00am until 11.00pm Monday to Friday and 8.00am until 10.00pm Sundays and Bank Holidays. You can contact them on 033 3999 3332 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.