Saturday, August 05, 2006

Uptight drivers and their bad parking

What ever happened to white van man?
He became white van council man

This is a bugbear for me and I am sure for many many others. So this has come to the point of show and shame now, because this has gotten too much for me, and I am sick of tired of drivers who don’t understand the highway code.

For the last few weeks, I have had for the want of a better word an idiot driver who blocks my drive outside my house, so that I can’t get a vehicle on or off.

Unfortunately I never catch the offending idiot. This idiot doesn’t know the Highway code. Point 217 of the Highway code is “DO NOT PARK in front of an entrance to a property”. As you will see in the pictures, this person clearly doesn’t know what the entrance to a property is, and doesn’t know what a property is either.

Now in my attempts to find out what can be done to ensure this offender doesn’t block my drive in the future, I found out a few things.

Firstly, most councils now have so called out of hours contact lines for those who wish to have people blocking their drives ticketed. My local council does, and so do many councils now it seems. For me that is a bonus.

I wrote to my friendly local council

I am trying to find out the situation with regards to your enforcement of single yellow lines and the blocking people drives. This particular street suffers from a lot of people blocking drives, very poor parking and frankly due to the increase in the number of dwellings due to the changes made by the council, insufficient spaces to park.

In the last few weeks, I have had repeatedly my own drive blocked by others, in particular one person, whom I have never managed to catch at it, but blocks my own drive. I can give you the registration number if that helps. I am assuming that the single yellow line only operates at certain hours, as this person is blocking the drive between around 7pm to around 8am.

Now the highway code clear states

“DO NOT PARK in front of an entrance to a property” - Highway Code point 217

But how can I get yourselves to enforce it, so that my drive is free and not blocked.

My friendly council responded

The council can issue Penalty Charge Notices to vehicles that block drives. In order to do this, you need to call us on 020 8424 1275 between treatment - 5pm or 020 8863 5611 out of these hours.

The Parking Attendant will knock at the property and check that the vehicle is not someone in the property and request for someone to sign a document stating the PA has checked the vehicle does not belong to a friend or family member.

This made me think this is useful and why isn’t this advertised a lot more.

It also got me thinking that as the person blocking my drive is driving a Camden white van, they must be able to ensure that something can be done. Well, this took a little more than I thought. I contact their general enquires and I got an expected response of my area isn’t in their area, so can’t do nothing. Not satisfied with that, I then decided to ring up their parking enforcement department, to be told by the lady on the end of the phone that they can’t help and thus end of the matter, despite it being one of their workers.

Not satisfied with that, I go searching on Camden Council and find a complaints department, now I think I might get somewhere. After speaking to the very apologetic lady on the end of the phone, who promised me to get someone to call me and resolve the matter, I was feeling I was making some headway. Lo and behold, I get a phone call some hours later asking me to explain the situation, and give my side of the story. I also pointed out to the gentleman who called me that I do have photographical evidence, which you can also see below. He was more than interested to see this evidence and this has now been sent to the council staff, whom will deal with this in the way they see fit.

Will this mean that, I will no longer have the idiot driver blocking my drive, possibly, and very hopefully. I may also end up with one irate neighbour, but given he didn’t have any respect for me in the first place, I doubt it is going to make any difference anyway.

And because this annoying neighbour, I have to presume some neighbour because it is parked in this street all night, is flouting the law and causing me an inconvenience, I am more than happy to post the pictures below, so that if any of you suffer this person blocking your drive, call Camden council on their complaints number which can be easily found on their website or if you really want email me and I will send it to you. And then hopefully this person will realise that despite his less than stellar reading of the highway code, someone will ensure he doesn’t get away scott free.

First Example of bad parking

Second Example of bad parking

Third Example of bad parking

Number plate so you can ensure this driver doesn't block your drive

Another shot of the number plate so you can ensure this driver doesn't block your drive

I also know for future reference that if someone is repeatedly blocking my drive, for which I had to pay a premium for when I bought my house, I can ensure they end up with a parking ticket, which doesn’t make me feel in anyway bad at all, and why should I, I am entitled to use my drive and I follow the highway code, so why can’t others.


Antonio said...

The road hogging reputation of Britain's 2.5 million "white van men" is to be tackled through free driving lessons from the government to stamp out practices such as tailgating and stomach-churning unexpected braking.
The transport secretary, Alistair Darling, pledged funds to train 200 advanced driving instructors who will offer complimentary lessons for an initial 3,500 man with a vans.
A Department for Transport source said: "Just as a doctor or teacher constantly work at their skills, we want to give a wider opportunity for van drivers to do the same."

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