While driving home this evening, just after 6pm, in the dark, I saw something on a road close to where I live that I have never seen before. I saw a ticket warden issuing a ticket. It was on Gilmore Way in Great Baddow.
There are no parking restrictions on the road, no lines, no permits, nothing. The warden was writing a ticket out for a car that was parked up on the pavement.
Now, parking on pavements is wrong, and annoying. But this is a quiet road near the school. I am sure there was still room to pass a buggy along the path (the car was only just up on the curb). Also, during the school run it does get busy, so cars keeping out the way is, if anything, a good thing.
But some poor soul will soon be receiving an early Christmas present from Essex Council for a parking offence, on a road with no parking restrictions, in a part of the county where traffic wardens are rarer than kingfishers.
The only reason for it can be a new drive to raise more money, to pay off that national debt.
So if you own a car and usually park it on the street, be careful how you park. Remember the highway code! Do not park opposite junctions or within 10m (I think) of a junction or sharp bend. Maybe we should check the code now…..
Highway Code – Parking
These rules are taken from the Highway Code online, on 28th October 2010. Always check for the latest updates.
Use off-street parking areas, or bays marked out with white lines on the road as parking places, wherever possible. If you have to stop on the roadside:
- do not park facing against the traffic flow
- stop as close as you can to the side
- do not stop too close to a vehicle displaying a Blue Badge: remember, the occupant may need more room to get in or out
- you MUST switch off the engine, headlights and fog lights
- you MUST apply the handbrake before leaving the vehicle
- you MUST ensure you do not hit anyone when you open your door. Check for cyclists or other traffic
- it is safer for your passengers (especially children) to get out of the vehicle on the side next to the kerb
- put all valuables out of sight and make sure your vehicle is secure
- lock your vehicle
You MUST NOT stop or park on
- the carriageway or the hard shoulder of a motorway except in an emergency
- a pedestrian crossing, including the area marked by the zig-zag lines
- a clearway (see ‘Traffic signs’)
- taxi bays as indicated by upright signs and markings
- an urban clearway within its hours of operation, even when a broken white line is on your side of the road, except to pick up or set down passengers (see ‘Traffic signs’)
- a road marked with double white lines, except to pick up or set down passengers
- a tram or cycle lane during its period of operation
- a cycle track
- red lines, in the case of specially designated ‘red routes’, unless otherwise indicated by signs
DO NOT stop or park
- near a school entrance
- anywhere you would prevent access for Emergency Services
- at or near a bus or tram stop or taxi rank
- on the approach to a level crossing/tramway crossing
- opposite or within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction, except in an authorised parking space
- near the brow of a hill or hump bridge
- opposite a traffic island or (if this would cause an obstruction) another parked vehicle
- where you would force other traffic to enter a tram lane
- where the kerb has been lowered to help wheelchair users and powered mobility vehicles
- in front of an entrance to a property
- on a bend
- where you would obstruct cyclists’ use of cycle facilities
except when forced to do so by stationary traffic.
Parking on Pavements
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.
Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE)
DPE is becoming increasingly common as more authorities take on this role. The local traffic authority assumes responsibility for enforcing many parking contraventions in place of the police. Further details on DPE may be found at the following websites:
Parking in Essex
So, know where you can and can park. Avoid risking a fine. Also know your rights. And if you feel unfairly treated, i.e. you get a parking ticket / fine for being parked on a curb, there is always the traffic penalty tribunal.