Tuesday, June 26, 2007

KERB CRAWLING - Humphrey Hatty investigates various means


I've given up calling Plod. He does not tell me what constitutes an emergency - which the 999 system was set up for I know - but it's only when I dial all the Nines that he then tells me what doesn't. Dropped kerb parking is one that 'apparently and what if sir' - according to local police at Lewisham - doesn't. Many's the time I've had a car or skip parked on the driveway - the latter for building work - when some Mork or Mindy has pulled up and left their car blocking the driveway: effectively trapping mine in. Weird innit I know, but that's life in "Kool Britannia" or Londineum. 'Anyroad' (as me old mam might say by way of meaning 'anyway') the Romans would not put up with it...

The 'route' of the problem

One couple thought I was being unreasonable. They had blocked my skip in overnight... even though it was due to be exchanged for a new one. She screamed that I didn't know who I was messing 'wit'. He screamed equally loudly that I was a 'clot' who had better not 'diss' him, and I had better 'watch it'. 'You don't know him,' the wife warned. I was actually 'datting'' him in terms of 'dat's' my drive don't block it... please. However... surprising how polite one becomes when someone you 'don't know'? threatens to drag you out of the old memsahib zone. Another user of the driveway was also a 'neighbour'- friendliness, consideration etc - who had parked halfway across the driveway, again trapping my car in. She could not see what all the fuss was about. 'I've been working thirteen hours today, and I don't need this,' she said. Adding with visible and contemptuous frustration - a real memsahib - 'You're the only one in the street with this kind of set up anyway!' This was opined in full realisation of what she thought the problem was - mainly, that I had a driveway and she didn't. I've since discovered that she does have a studio so following that same rule I shall move TheBigRetort to the bottom of her garden. I must admit that I was eventually none too polite to both; the first two called me 'wanker' (some truth there) and the other found me 'quite rude'. (Could be a bit of truth in that too as I did use language described in a PC-world as 'strong'.) Still, if an Englishman's home is his castle, then his driveway has to to be the drawbridge... Not according to the Sheriff's men. 'We'll deal with it in a couple of hours, sir. Bit busy now (fighting crime you wally).'

Parking Adjacent to a Dropped Kerb
Depending on who I get I have been told there is no crime in parking across a driveway. It's all about whether it's access or egress. But is that true?
Section 14 of the London Local Authorities and Transport for London Act 2003
introduced a new parking contravention of parking adjacent to a dropped kerb. This is defined as any part of the foot way or verge where it has been lowered to meet the level of the carriageway for a road for the purpose of (a) assisting pedestrians to cross or (b) assisting vehicle to enter or leave the road across the foot way or verge. Clearly, the purpose is to stop vehicles blocking these lowered kerbs and preventing them being used for their intended purpose.

Residential premises
In the case of residential premises with a driveway (not shared with other premises), where the purpose of the dropped foot way is to assist vehicles to enter or leave the road from or to the driveway, a Penalty Charge Notice can be served. [A PNC is not issued unless requested by the occupier of the premises. A caveat without which might see a Penalty Charge Notice being issued to the occupier’s own vehicle.] A number of exemptions apply to this prohibition; for example, for boarding and alighting and loading and unloading. But don't dial 999. 'That's a Transport for London matter, sir,' will be the police response. Oh hum.

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