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Parking across empty driveways


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Hey all,

 

I've followed this forum for quite a long time but never actively participated. Now I've got myself an account, hope to see you about!

 

Anyway, I live in an area with very high parking density (small houses but average of more than 1 car per house) so it can be a nightmare in the evenings trying to get home. There are in the area a good few houses which have driveways / dropped kerbs and are often away from them. As far as I can see, having a driveway which people avoid blocking is essentially the same thing as having a reserved parking spare on the road (since the gap for the driveway is usually just one parking space) and I don't see why that's fair, since nobody else can reserve parking places on the road outside their own house, especially given the lack of spaces as previously described.

 

Note that (1) I obviously don't condone parking across driveways where cars are on them, and (2) the dashed white lines representing the CPZ places continue through most of these driveways (no yellow lines are painted). I think parking across driveways in use is illegal for obstruction to highway, in any case.

 

So I've done some research, and the council have informed me that their policy is not to ticket cars parked across driveways unless specifically told to by the owner of the house. But my own research into legislation seems to suggest that there is no basis ever for ticketing cars so long as they are within designated parking places and not on yellow lines etc.

 

The Road Traffic Act 2004 states:

 

86 Prohibition of parking at dropped footways etc.

 

(1) In a special enforcement area a vehicle must not be parked on the carriageway adjacent to a footway, cycle track or verge where—

(a) the footway, cycle track or verge has been lowered to meet the level of the carriageway for the purpose of—

(i) assisting pedestrians crossing the carriageway,

(ii) assisting cyclists entering or leaving the carriageway, or

(iii) assisting vehicles entering or leaving the carriageway across the footway, cycle track or verge; or

(b) the carriageway has, for a purpose within paragraph (a)(i) to (iii), been raised to meet the level of the footway, cycle track or verge.

This is subject to the following exceptions.

(2) The first exception is where the vehicle is parked wholly within a designated parking place or any other part of the carriageway where parking is specifically authorised.

A “designated parking place” means a parking place designated by order under section 6, 9, 32(1)(b) or 45 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (c. 27).

 

Now, please tell me if I have read this correctly - it does seem pretty explicit. If so I will write to the council asking for written clarification and then if and only if I absolutely have to, I will consider parking across empty driveways. Unless of course I am allowed to reserve my own place outside my house.

 

This is quite an ambiguous point with other online guidance; it would be nice to clear it up once and for all, for other people too.

 

Thanks for reading that, too :)

 

Dom

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It sounds as though you're not one of the people with his own drive.

Imagine that you were.

The time is 2:30am.

Your wife wakes you up telling you that her waters have just broken and the birth of your baby is imminent.

You jump out of bed and dress..... Your wife's case is already packed, so you both dash downstairs and get into the car. The hospital is five miles away, but there's not much traffic at this time of the morning.

Down to the end of your drive. Stop. Turn engine off..... There's a car parked across your drive, blocking you in. You don't recognise the car, because it belongs to a visitor to one of the neighbours.

They've all gone to a nightclub, by taxi. The keys to the car are in his pocket.

Now what do you do?

Have you ever delivered a baby?

 

The possible scenarios are endless.

 

But the top and bottom of it remains the same.

The owner of the house has a right of access in and out of his property.

Just because there is not a car on the drive doesn't alter that fact.

It might be in the garage, safe from car-thieves. Or the owner is out.... but he could be home at any time to suit himself.

 

The owner of the house has paid out his own money to have his drive surfaced. He has also paid the council to drop the kerb, again, out of his own pocket. Why should anyone deprive him of the enjoyment of his own drive and his own access?

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Well done for figuring that one out. I realise you're an established member here but this post was about the law not about your feelings. In any case using an example of somebody being blocked in is kind of silly since I said that wasn't an issue and is illegal in any case.

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There are in the area a good few houses which have driveways / dropped kerbs and are often away from them. As far as I can see, having a driveway which people avoid blocking is essentially the same thing as having a reserved parking spare on the road (since the gap for the driveway is usually just one parking space) and I don't see why that's fair

 

Surely everyone is entitled to access to their own driveway from the road, regardless of whether you think they use it or not. I'm confused how having clear access onto your own property can be deemed 'unfair'.

 

Even if a resident doesn't have a car or use their driveway, what if they have visitors or repairmen who need access? Or heaven forebid, an ambulance?

 

I think parking across driveways in use is illegal for obstruction to highway, in any case.

 

It doesn't have to be an actual obstruction, just a potential one. Again, note ambulance example.

 

86 Prohibition of parking at dropped footways etc.

 

(1) In a special enforcement area a vehicle must not be parked on the carriageway adjacent to a footway, cycle track or verge where—

(a) the footway, cycle track or verge has been lowered to meet the level of the carriageway for the purpose of—

(i) assisting pedestrians crossing the carriageway,

(ii) assisting cyclists entering or leaving the carriageway, or

(iii) assisting vehicles entering or leaving the carriageway across the footway, cycle track or verge; or

(b) the carriageway has, for a purpose within paragraph (a)(i) to (iii), been raised to meet the level of the footway, cycle track or verge.

This is subject to the following exceptions.

(2) The first exception is where the vehicle is parked wholly within a designated parking place or any other part of the carriageway where parking is specifically authorised.

A “designated parking place” means a parking place designated by order under section 6, 9, 32(1)(b) or 45 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (c. 27).

 

I read that as a contravention is committed if you park in front of a dropped kerb, unless there is a designated parking bay adjacent.

 

I hope I don't get a sarcastic answer like poor old Rooster did.

Edited by Al27
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Well done for figuring that one out. I realise you're an established member here but this post was about the law not about your feelings. In any case using an example of somebody being blocked in is kind of silly since I said that wasn't an issue and is illegal in any case.

Established member, mate he is part of the team that brings you this forum and gives you a voice. I wouldnt take the sarcasm too far as he may have the IP banned.

 

From what you just put there I woudnt blame him.

Edited by nero12
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Note that (1) I obviously don't condone parking across driveways where cars are on them,

So you DO condone parking across drives where there isn't a car on them? So if the owner goes to work, or parks his car in the garage, therefore there is no car on the drive, it's OK to park across the drive's entrance?

and (2) the dashed white lines representing the CPZ places continue through most of these driveways (no yellow lines are painted).

On most housing estates there are no lines, white or yellow) painted on the roads

I think parking across driveways in use is illegal for obstruction to highway, in any case.

 

There is nothing "silly" in the situation that I suggested. Emergencies and desperate situations can occur at any time of the day or night.

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Have you though about asking the neighbour if they would be interest in hiring the drive for a fee if it is not used surely this is a better way to go about it than just parking across it and the end result two happy bunnies.

 

Regards

 

PF

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Oh for heaven's sake. This is really quite shocking: Rooster posted an overwhelmingly irrelevant example which I had specifically ruled out, and this entire thread is now filled with people taking a position on morality instead of the legal situation.

 

Given the number of people who post with the intention of getting off morally justified parking tickets through loopholes, this does really smack of hypocrisy.

 

For the garage example, again of course I wouldn't condone parking there because you'd have to entertain the possibility there was a car there, and again it would still be illegal. My principle stands and you haven't yet explained why my interpretation of the LAW is incorrect.

 

You say "On most housing estates there are no lines, white or yellow) painted on the roads" but in this example there are, so that really isn't relevant.

 

I read that as a contravention is committed if you park in front of a dropped kerb, unless there is a designated parking bay adjacent.

 

Sure, but there is, because there is one long unbroken parking bay along the road.

 

I presumed from other posts that there were people on this forum with some legal knowledge. If nobody wants to offer a legal opinion then fine, I'll survive, but please can we stop with the personal attacks on my view of the scenario.

 

If this arguing continues then I would hope mods will just lock this thread.

Edited by dominicp
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I will leave this thread to run for a while.

Going to cast my vote...... provided nobody's parked across my drive. :rolleyes:

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I will leave this thread to run for a while.

Going to cast my vote...... provided nobody's parked across my drive. :rolleyes:

 

Oh look, a sarcastic comment. Not expecting this one to get shouted down, though. Also, it's more of the same pettiness. If you've got a car on your drive then it is illegal to block it in.

 

Incidentally, I'm guessing you're one of those people with a driveway then...

 

I've a mind just to do it a few times, get ticketed, win at appeal and if I annoy some people with driveways then all the better. Might even be Rooster's :p

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Hey all,

 

 

But my own research into legislation seems to suggest that there is no basis ever for ticketing cars so long as they are within designated parking places and not on yellow lines etc.

 

 

 

Dom

 

Heaven save us from armchair lawyers who google on the internet and think they have a new angle on the law missed by tens of thousands of lawyers over many years.

 

Dom your supposition is wrong on so many levels I am not going to waste time going through it. I suggest you take your research to a lawyer and ask him.

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Heaven save us from armchair lawyers who google on the internet and think they have a new angle on the law missed by tens of thousands of lawyers over many years.

 

Dom your supposition is wrong on so many levels I am not going to waste time going through it. I suggest you take your research to a lawyer and ask him.

 

So you've taken a quotation out of context to make it look silly, and then just said you can't be bothered to explain your point anyway. This board really doesn't come across very well from this thread.

 

If you're so clever, why not look at the legislation I actually referenced and justify your opinion?

Edited by dominicp
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(2) the dashed white lines representing the CPZ places continue through most of these driveways (no yellow lines are painted)

 

Can you give us more information about the lines and/or signage? A photo would be useful. You might also want to request the TRO from the council.

 

Regarding the way this thread has gone, I understand you wanted an objective legal answer, but do you see how this probably started by claiming that people having a space on the road was unfair? You started an with an opinionated post and then berated those that merely gave an opposite viewpoint.

 

But anyway, show us a photo and get the TRO.

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Can you give us more information about the lines and/or signage? A photo would be useful. You might also want to request the TRO from the council.

 

Regarding the way this thread has gone, I understand you wanted an objective legal answer, but do you see how this probably started by claiming that people having a space on the road was unfair? You started an with an opinionated post and then berated those that merely gave an opposite viewpoint.

 

But anyway, show us a photo and get the TRO.

 

Thanks for the constructive post.

 

I never actually argued about the principle, only after Rooster's first post which WAS ridiculous if you read mine. He just misrepresented what I had said... funny how defensive people can get. Ah well.

 

Re the restrictions, I think I can explain it pretty well: it is just a normal parking bay (not individual car bays, one long one with dotted lines to indicate width). It is the standard style in London at any rate. Signage just says residents only 9am - 11am, same as you would expect for a normal CPZ sign.

 

I've emailed the council anyway, I'll see what they say.

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Yes A127 is probably suggesting a good idea.

Roosters drive is a no go -I heard he has his own cones;)

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To take this on a little further.

 

It may not be classed as obstruction to block a driveway which is unoccupied. However, I declare to my insurance company that when at home, the vehicle is parked off road on a driveway. I have, before now, come home and found a vehicle parked across my drive, and have had to park on the highway as a result.

 

Should anything happen to my vehicle whilst it is parked on the highway outside of my house:

 

(1) would my insurance company try and decline any insurance claim on the grounds that it was parked in the vacinity of my home but not off road as I had declared (and received a discounted premium for) ?

 

(2) would I be able to reclaim any costs or damages off the registered keeper of the vehicle on the basis that by blocking my driveway I have been forced to partially invalidate sections of my insurance and have suffered financial loss because of it ?

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If there is a desgnated parking bay adjacent to a dropped footway and your local council enforce using the Traffic Management Act 2004 then section 86(2) will apply should you park in the designated bay and any PCN issued can easily be squashed as you are acting lawfully.

 

As a courtesy to your neighbours I would suggest displaying a visible note so that you can be contacted if a person requires access to or from their drive.

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On the flipside, if it would block people out of their drives I think that TRO would be scrapped pretty quickly with the complaints the council would receive.

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A drop kerb is not an automatic right the permission to have access across the footway under the Highways act 1980 is down to the highway authority. It is therefore not uncommon to insist that on street parking places are not lost so a householder would be given a drop kerb on the understanding that a bay would remain. This is most common is residential permit areas where the householders wish to have parking on street regulated by permits but still want access and since only residents can park they would be aware who was across the drive and be able to ask them to move. It is very uncommon for public paid for parking to be across drop kerbs since the householder could be blocked in with no way of getting out.

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Local Authorities’ Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 (as ammended)

 

Thanks...this S.I. applies to England, so not for just outside London. This implies that the powers that be knew that dropped footways within London were not legally enforceable as the TMA 2004 failed to include section 14 of the LLA&TfL act 2003 meaning that to enforce dropped footways under the TMA 2004 required them to be signed.

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