Pavement parking around Coverdale Road in Alphington

The Planning  Committee meeting held on 31 October 2016 considered an application for 4 dwellings on land to the read of the Crawford Hotel [16/0864/03].

Cllr Chris Musgrave attended the meeting, and spoke on this item under Standing Order No. 44.

He made the following points:-

  • serious reservations on behalf of residents relating to loss of quality of living and safety;
  • despite views of the Highways Engineer and the Inspector, parking is a serious problem in Percy Road evidenced by a range of problems including illegal parking, insufficient turning space and with the Police required to leaflet the properties and to issue parking notices;
  • reducing the number of parking spaces in Percy Road will exacerbate the problems and the proposed seven spaces for the four properties is inadequate given the current level of car ownership – with two or three cars per household there is a potential for 16 extra cars entering the development;
  • visibility issues in respect of access to the main road;
  • access via Percy Road is inappropriate; and
  • object on behalf of residents.

He mentioned that the local PCSO had distributed a letter to residents around the area of Percy Road. This is the letter:

Dear local residents

It has come to my attention that there are many residents’ cars who park on the pavement in the vicinity of Coverdale Road.

It is an offence to park on the pavement and is dealt with via a fixed penalty notice and a fine. I am appealing driver’s better nature initially to avoid from parking on pavements.

Parking on pavements causes a high risk to members of the public who have to step into the road and also road users whose view may be inhibited.

I am currently monitoring the situation and prolific offenders will be dealt with via the means above.

I understand that the parking situation is not ideal for those households with more than one car; however I’m sure you will appreciate how serious this could become.

Many thanks for your cooperation with this issue.

Kind Regards

PCSO Ben Jones 30716
Alphington Neighbourhood Police Team

 

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Inconsiderate pavement parking is much more than inconvenience at the school gates

I have to congratulate the Express & Echo for highlighting the issue of inconsiderate pavement park, as it’s a problem that I’ve been raising for many years.

However, it seems that when Cllr Peter Holland and Cllr Percy Prowse spoke to Transport Minister, Chris Grayling, last week, their concerns were limited to pavement parking outside schools – It’s up to council to solve dangerous school gate parking, says transport minister [E&E On-line, 22 October 2016].

 

For me this issue is much more than this – as it inconveniences parents with buggies, people with disabilities, and those with visual impairments to make but a few.

As an example of this anti-social behaviour I draw attention to 2 examples I’ve witnessed in Newman Road over the past couple of weeks.

In the first example, the car is parked completely on the pavement, meaning there is no way through for any pedestrian, let alone for anyone with a disability or with a pushchair.

newman-road-01a-2016-10-15

newman-road-01b-2016-10-15

In the following 2 examples, partial parking on the pavement still blocks the footpath, inconveniencing vulnerable people.

newman-road-02-2016-10-15

newman-road-31-2016-10-15

However, over the same period, Barley Farm Road – where I more often than not observe pavement parking – has been somewhat free of this.

barley-farm-road-01-2016-10-15

Indeed, there seems to be only one vehicle transgressing!

barley-farm-road-02-2016-10-15

Driving on (including onto) a pavement is illegal and you can be fined up to £1,000 if witnessed by the police.

The police can issue parking tickets for driving on a pavement, parking across a drop kerb or causing wilful obstruction.

Devon County Council’s Civil Enforcement Officers  can issue parking tickets for parking on double yellow lines or other parking restrictions. They can also issue Advisory Notices for any kind of pavement parking.

So, please on’t park on a pavement.

Reporting pavement parking

Devon County Council want more information about pavement parking in Devon.

They intend to use this to get a clear picture of the issue and to help plan solutions, such as changing the routes of traffic wardens to cover problem areas, or deciding whether the road needs double yellow lines. This data is for long-term planning.

They can’t respond to any immediate issues and they  can’t help in an emergency. If pavement parking is causing a wilful obstruction or there is danger phone the Police on 101.

Use this form to report regular pavement parking. Or call Devon Highways on 0845 155 1004 or 0345 155 1004.

County Council calls for more pavement parking powers to protect pedestrians

dcc-news-centre
21 October 2016

County Council calls for more pavement parking powers to protect pedestrians

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Devon County Council is calling on Government to revisit proposals that would give the authority more powers to deal with motorists parking on pavements.

On December 4 last year the House of Commons withdrew a motion for a bill to end Pavement Parking.

Powers to deal with obstruction of pavements currently rest with the Police and not with highways authorities like Devon County Council.

In the last 12 months there has been 788 complaints made about pavement parking in Devon.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Cllr Stuart HughesHighways has written to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling MP expressing his concern that since the motion was withdrawn last year, councils had not received any further support from Government regarding the issue.

Previous research has shown that during one three month period 70% of those who are blind had collided with a car parked on a pavement, and 32% had felt less confident about going out.

In his letter Councillor Hughes added: “The County Council recognises the impact that pavement parking has on pedestrians, particularly those that are most vulnerable; the elderly, parents with buggies, the visually impaired and wheelchair users.

“Pavement parking can also damage the structure of footways increasing maintenance costs.”

He said that the council was ‘disappointed’ that the Pavement Parking Bill was withdrawn after its second reading and it was felt that evidence presented in favour of the bill was ‘compelling’.

Councillor Hughes added: “None the less Devon County Council will continue to gather evidence of the problems on its network.

“If there is anything further that officers or myself can do to assist in the progression of pavement parking powers we would be grateful if you could advise.”

E&E Letters | Inconsiderate pavement parking – Let’s make it ‘cross-party’

E&E

13 October 2016

Inconsiderate pavement parking – Let’s make it ‘cross-party’

I welcome the recent thoughts of Cllr Peter Holland on the issue of inconsiderate pavement parking [Anger over inconsiderate pavement parking in ExeterE&E, 10 October 2016] as they echo the same comments I’ve been making for the past five years.

Cllr Holland is correct that section 30 of the Exeter City Council Act 1987 did outlaw the practice of parking on footpaths [ie pavements] and verges, and this provision was enforced by traffic wardens under the direction of Devon & Cornwall Police.

exeter-act-1987-cover

section-30-of-exeter-city-council-act-1987

However, Cllr Holland is mistaken in saying “when the responsibility for enforcement of the law was transferred to Devon County Council the law went into ‘decay’.”

The truth is that when parking enforcement was decriminalised in May 2008, those powers transferred to Devon County Council and now Civil Enforcement Officers [CEOs] enforce using powers issued by the Secretary of State for Transport [The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP] under regulations contained within the Traffic Management Act 2004.

And in the rush to transfer powers to DCC, the provisions of the Exeter Act 1987 were missed.

A new power was conveyed by Statutory Instrument 2012 No.12 issued by the Government under the TMA 2004. Within its Schedules, the Statutory Instrument details which restrictions can be enforced by DCC’s CEOs.

statutory-instrument-2012-no-12Civil enforcement of offences in section 30 of the Exeter City Council Act 1987
2. In Schedule 7 to the Traffic Management Act 2004 (road traffic contraventions subject to civilenforcement), in paragraph 4 (parking contraventions outside Greater London), after subparagraph
(2)(e) insert—
“(ea) an offence under section 30(1) of the Exeter City Council Act 1987 (c. xi)(prohibition of parking vehicles on verges, central reservations and footways).”(b)

However, the situation was complicated in that the Department for Transport informed DCC – as the Local Highways Authority – that it would require additional signage, at intervals of around 400m, to enforce the new legislation.

And, of course, there are some roads which would be blocked without pavement parking,

Indeed the P bus – which coincidently serves both my ward of St Thomas and that of Cllr Holland – would be unable to make its way down Barley Farm Road if all the vehicles parked on the road.

If the situation is complicated in Exeter, then it is even more complex nationally.

The only mention of pavement parking in the Highway Code is under Rule 244:
“You MUST NOT park partially or wholly on the pavement in London, and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it. Parking on the pavement can obstruct and seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and people with prams or pushchairs.”

The direction MUST NOT is legally enforceable [under the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1974 section 15] but should not is an advisory direction, not an enforceable one.

There is little or nothing DCC’s Civil Enforcement Officers can do in this situation – unless the vehicle is causing damage to the pavement, when the driver *could* be prosecuted. In practice, this rarely happen, if at all.

Interestingly [as it pre-dates motorised vehicles], under section 72 of the Highways Act 1837 it is an offence to wilfully [but note, not park] “a carriage of any description upon the footpath.” But this can only be enforced by a warrant Police Officer, who needs to see the carriage actually driving on the footpath – even though to park on the pavement, the vehicle must have been driven onto it.

And it is also an offence under the Highways Act 1980 and also under s.28 of the Town and Police Clauses Act 1847 to “wilfully obstruct free passage along the highway or deposit anything which causes an interruption to, or obstruction of, the highway [including any public footpath or public thoroughfare].

In these cases, enforcement is the responsibility of warranted Police Officers and authorised PCSOs, rather than DCC’s CEOs.

At a meeting of the joint Exeter City Council and Devon CC’s joint Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee [HATOC] held on 28 July 2015 [see minute 119], County Officers expressed confidence that a Private Members’ Bill  being brought forward by Simon Hoare MP [CON, North Devon], which would resolve the whole issue of inconsiderate pavement parking.

exeter-hatoc-minute-119

I wasn’t convinced at the meeting that the Bill would proceed, and so it came to pass that on 08 December 2015, after a debate in the House of Commons, Simon Hoare withdrew his Pavement Parking (Protection of Vulnerable Pedestrians) Bill 2015-16 because he had been promised that “DfT would undertake some work to examine more closely the legal and financial implication of an alternative regime.”

So Cllr Holland’s own Government appears to kicked the issue into the long grass.

I note he hopes to raise the issue when the Minister, the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, visits the city later this month.

Let me make this offer – we could make this a cross-party issue and I would be happy to meet the Minister along with him.

Paul Bull
Labour & Co-operative Councillor, St Thomas Ward

Pavement parking | Some thoughts for today’s Exeter HATOC

Later today, Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee [HATOC] meet at County Hall

One of the items on the agenda is an update on Parking on Pavements.

it will be interesting to hear what will be said because, despite what’s been said and written n recent weeks, to is not necessary an offence to park on a pavement

Some thoughts for the meeting

1) The current legal position
Under s.137 of Highways Act 1980 it is the duty of the highway authority to assert and protect the rights of the public to use and enjoy the highway (the term highway in this instance includes footways = pavements).

It is a criminal offence under HA 1980 and also under s.28 of Town & Police Clauses Act 1847 to wilfully obstruct free passage along the highway or to deposit anything which causes an interruption to, or obstruction of, the highway (including any public footpath or public thoroughfare).

Under s.72 of Highways Act 1837 it is an offence to wilfully drive ant carriage of any description upon the footpath.

And regulation 103 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1985 states that no person in charge of a motor vehicle…shall cause or permit the vehicle to stand on the road  so as to cause unnecessary obstruction of the road. This included vehicles parked on footpaths and contravention of this regulation is a criminal offence and the police can require removal of the vehicle.

Of course, Highway Code rule 244 is clear of the situation in London using MUST NOT, but for the rest of the country the rule is the less forceful SHOULD NOT.

The above begs the question – who is responsible for enforcement in each case? Police (and do PCSOs have any powers in such cases)? Or Civil Enforcement Officers?

And of course, what time and priority should be given to enforcement? To use a phrase I often hear in relation to speeding in 20 mph zones – there must be a  responsible and proportionate approach to enforcement

2) Decriminalised Parking Enforcement
The Road Traffic Act 1991 (c. 40) provided for the decriminalisation of parking-related contraventions, with enforcement
carried out by civil enforcement officers, operating on behalf of a local authority

However some parking offences can still be enforced by the police, as outlined by this report on Civil Parking Enforcement: New Responsibilities that was considered by Devon County Council’s Executive on 17 October 2006

On the 5 May 2008, responsibility for on-street parking enforcement in Devon passed from the police to local authorities and traditional traffic wardens were replaced by new Civil Enforcement Officers

But at this time the Exeter Act 1987 was not repealed and so I believe that parking on the verge or footway of an urban road is still a CRIMINAL offence enforceable by a police officer.

3) Traffic Management Act 2004 (Amendment of Schedule 7) (City of Exeter) Regulations 
Even after all my previous research and the numerous discussions held at Exeter HATOC, I have just come across a Staututory Instrument, the Traffic Management Act 2004 (Amendment of Schedule 7) (City of Exeter) Regulations 2012, which came into force on 30th January 2012.

There is also this Explanatory Memorandum to Traffic Management Act 2004 (Amendment of Schedule 7) (City of Exeter) Regulations 2012 [2012 No.12].

It appears that these Regulations amend paragraph 4 of that Schedule (parking contraventions outside Greater London) by adding to the list of such contraventions the offence under section 30(1) of the Exeter City Council Act 1987 of parking vehicles, other than certain heavy commercial vehicles, on verges, central reservations and footways.

4) Freeing pedestrians from pavement parking blight
In Feb 2011, Norman Baker sent a letter to all local authorities telling them to use their powers to prevent parking on the pavement where it is a problem. [ DfT News Story: Freeing pedestrians from pavement parking blight, 21 February 2011]

norman-baker-letter-on-pavement-parking-1

norman-baker-letter-on-pavement-parking-2

What was DCC’s response to this instruction?

5) Pavement Parking (Protection of Vulnerable Pedestrians) Bill 2015-16
Recent updates  to Exeter HATOC have talked about the progress of a Bill through Parliament – this was a Private Members Bill presented by Martin Horwood who came last of 20 in the 2014 ballot. The Bill never made any Parliamentary progress, not even having the Second Reading in the House of Commons , despite appearing on the Order Paper twice.

Simon Hoare – just up the road in North Dorset – came 10th of 20 in this year’s ballot.

Is there any information that would suggest this PMB will make further progress?

One of the problems of problem I forsee if Simon Hoares’ Private Members Bill does make it onto the Statute Books is that following enactment any permitted pavement parking would need to be authorised by an expensive TRO.

In Cowick there are already exemptions for Sussex Close and Wiltshire Close, but I can see TRPs being needed for pavement parking along Barley Farm Road just so that the P bus can make its journey towards the city centre unhindered.

And what about Merrivale Road? And so on.

So the isn’t going to be the silver bullet we all hope it will be.

6) Partial pavement parking
We know around all our divisions that some roads would come to a halt if pavement parking wasn’t possible.

I can list Sussex Close and Wiltshire Close that allowed partial pavement parking under Exeter Act 1987.

But without partial pavement parking, the P bus cannot make progress down Barley Farm Road. And Merrivale Road would be almost impassable.

So we have a problem.

We have be able to allow partial pavement parking – but in a way that doesn’t make the pavement an obstacle course for people with mobility issues, have visual impairments and parents using buggies and pushchairs.

Under the Exeter Act its quite easy for HATOC to agree an exemption for those narrow closes and cul-de-sacs (for many around the city those are in place, but we can all think of others).

But to deal with the major routes, it’s probably going to be necessary for a TRO, signs and lines to be put in place to ensure pedestians can pass without obstruction.

Slough have recently put this into practice – has this done under the provisions of Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 3 (Regulatory Signs 2008) p73 which shows the painted partial parking bay (diagram 1028.4) with accompanying signs (diagrams 667.1 and 667.2) with all the costs advertising TRO etc or by some other means?

7) Damage of grass verges
Highways Act 1980 s131 makes it is an offence to damage a highway (including a footpath) without lawful authority or excuse and can be punishable by a claim for criminal damages.

And in Blackpool, CEOs are issuing PCNs for damage to grass strips.

Have DCC given any thought to this? If DC are required to carry out remedial work due to damageto grass verges or footways, can they seek to recover any expenses incurred and prosecute persistant offenders?

8) Advisory Enforcement Notices
At Full Council on 23 July Cllr Hart in a written reply to a question from Cllr Percy Prowse [Question 13] mentioned advisory enforcement notices?

What are these?

And how will these be used?

Are the police on-board with this?

Is there to be a publicity campaign?

9) How has review of Traffic Signs & Generla Directions affected progress?
I understand that the situation in Exeter has been complicated by the long-running review of the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 and subsequent amendments.

TSRGD 2002 proscibes what road signs are needed and where they should go for every traffic regulation.

Without suitble regulations in place (and DfT not making decisions in their absence) on signage for Exeter Act 1987, I’m guessing the issue is about legality and risk of prosecution, with people more likely to challenge a parking fine.

I’m assuming that at a time when council budgets are being cut, an extremely cautious approach has been adopted?

And since the draft version has been consulted on, is there an estimate when the TSRGD 2015 come into force?

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Parking on pavements at DCC Full Council

The issue of pavement parking was touched upon at  DCC’s Full Council meeting on 23 July 2015.

Under agenda item 7, Questions from Members of the Council to following exchange took place:

3. QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR PROWSE

Re: Pavement Parking

I have previously made known my concerns regarding those who park their vehicles on the pavement throughout the County, thus causing us a bill for reinstatement of cracked slabs and other damage to the pavements. All pavement users are seriously inconvenienced. In the City of Exeter this is a specific offence (by-law). Since the start of Civil Parking undertaken since 5th May 2008 not one ticket has been issued. In the rest of the County there remains a total indifference to enforcement policy by the Police or the Civil Enforcement Officers where yellow line restrictions do not exist.

In a letter dated 9 April 2014, the Leader of the County Council indicated this matter would be subject of a report to Cabinet in the Autumn.

Can the Leader confirm that the report never arrived?

What is the current position of the County Council and Exeter City Council and the element of repeater signs in the City of Exeter to allow enforcement to take place?

REPLY BY COUNCILLOR HART

I share Cllr Prowse s concern about parking on pavements.

When we reviewed the position, it was not felt that a report was required to Cabinet as previously suggested as this matter has been taken up at a national level, through a proposed Pavement Parking Bill. Although, progress with this proposed legislation has been slow, I am pleased to inform Councillor Prowse that it is now moving forward through parliament with Simon Hoare MP taking up the reins following recent lobbying, to which Devon County Council contributed.

Government s stance on the matter of implementing pavement parking bans has not changed from that provided by the Traffic Team to Councillor Prowse last year. There is the ability to implement a ban, but only through the presence of repeater signs, which the Department for Transport have stated are to be placed at intervals felt appropriate by the highways authority. However, even with a frequency of repeater signs much higher than we would like this carriers significant risk, as we have been advised that any car parked without direct sight of such a sign is likely to have grounds for a Penalty Charge Notice to be overturned. In addition there is potential abortive costs of implementing such a scheme should the national bill be passed that does not require these signs.

For the short term, we have developed an advisory enforcement notice approach with Civil Enforcement Officers, a report it function for the public to help focus this advisory enforcement, and a publicity campaign. We are also driving for further guidance of best practise from national organisations such as PATROL (Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London).

 

Exeter HATOC | Pavement parking

Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee [HATOC] meets on 28 July 2015 and once again is set to discuss the issue of pavement parking

10. Update on Parking on Pavements

In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Owen has requested that the Committee consider this matter

Presentation by the Head of Highways, Capital Development and Waste

Electoral Division: all in Exeter

When Devon County Council took over parking enforcement on 08 May 2008, there wasn’t time to transfer the provisions of the Exeter Act 1987 at the same time.

Since then parking on pavements has been a constant feature on Exeter HATOC’s agend

02/02/12

9. Parking on Pavements and Enforcement
In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Owen has asked that the Committee consider this item

Report of the Head of Highways and Traffic Management ( HTM/12/4 – text only | pdf ) (Page 23) on details of the relevant Act and enforcement.

Electoral Divisions: All in Exeter

*118. Parking on Pavements and Enforcement
(In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Owen had asked that the Committee consider this item)

The Committee noted the report of the Head of Highways and Traffic Management (HTM/12/4 – text only | pdf ) on proposals for the County Council to take over parking enforcement from the Police (decriminalisation) regarding provisions within an Exeter City Council local Act implemented in 1987 in respect of prohibition of parking on verges, central reservations and footways.

The Neighbourhood Highway Group Manager reported that the Department of Transport has now published a Statutory Instrument that amends the schedules in the Traffic Management Act 2004 to decriminalise prohibition of parking on verges, central reservations and footways in Exeter City. The County Council would now check that the signs indicating the restricted areas and publicise that the provisions would now be enforced by Civil Enforcements Officers (and not the police). Current exemptions where permitted would still be applicable.

It was MOVED by Councillor Hobden, SECONDED by Councillor Leadbetter and
RESOLVED that this development be welcomed and that the new provisions be implemented as expeditiously as possible following appropriate consultation and publicity.

19/04/12 

10.  Implementation and Enforcement of Parking on Footways and Verges
In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Macdonald has requested that the Committee consider this item.

Electoral Division: All in Exeter

*132 Implementation and Enforcement of Parking on Footways and Verges
(In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Macdonald has requested that the Committee consider this item).

(Councillor Bull attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

The Neighbourhood Highway Group Manager reported that a review of the signage and their replacement was underway. Implementation of the new enforcement powers by the County Council (through the Civil Enforcement Officers) was planned for September 2012. Exemptions would be permitted under the regulations.

The Committee noted the position.

08/11/12

16. Various Highways Matters
In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Bull has requested that the Committee consider the following items:
(b) Update on the pavement parking situation.

*162. Highways Matters
(In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Bull had asked that the Committee consider the following items):
(b) Update on the pavement parking situation.

Although arising from a by-law from Exeter City Council, Devon County Council – as highways agency – are responsible for signage, etc. DfT have advised that additional signage is required (at intervals of around 400m) – how has this changed from the situation prior to 2008 change of parking enforcement operation? It is NOT a TRO matter but I’ve been advised that we should discuss a scheme for members to add additional exemptions to those that already have such exemptions (like Sussex Cl and Wiltshire Cl in Cowick).

The Head of Highways and Traffic Management reported that detailed discussion between the County Council and the Department of Transport were continuing. In the interim any suggested exemptions proposed by Members should be referred to the Exeter Neighbourhood Highway Team (Devon County Council) to assess.

22/07/14

10. Parking on Pavement
In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Owen has requested that the Committee consider this matter.

Head of Highways, Capital Development and Waste to report.

Electoral Divisions: All in Exeter

*71 Parking on Pavements
(Councillor Bull attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Owen had requested that the Committee consider what action could be taken to reduce parking on pavements.

The Head of Highways, Capital Development and Waste reported that following consultation with the Department for Transport he was developing proposals and options, in consultation with other local authorities and industry associations, to enable enforcement of parking on pavement restrictions whilst still maintaining, as appropriate, exemptions in respect of the more narrow and congested urban roads.

It was MOVED by Councillor Owen, SECONDED by Councillor Prowse and
RESOLVED that a report on proposals relating to enforcement of parking on pavements restrictions be presented to the next meeting of this Committee.

10/11/14

8. Parking on footways
Head of Highways, Capital Development and Waste to report.

Electoral Divisions: All in Exeter

*82 Parking on footways
The Head of Highways, Capital Development and Waste reported on the Pavement Parking Bill 2014-15 proceeding through Parliament to make provision for the safety, convenience and free movement on pavements of disabled people, older people, people accompanying young children, and other pavement users; to clarify, strengthen and simplify the law relating to parking on pavements in England and Wales; and for connected purposes. It was anticipated that the Bill would also cover inappropriate parking on verges. The County Council had made representation on this matter to the British Parking Association and the Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London (PATROL) who would be consulting with other local authorities to ascertain best practice on how to deal with this matter in the interim.

Pending statutory and best practice guidance the County Council would not be proposing any policy changes but that a report would be submitted to Cabinet on future options at the appropriate time.