Saturday, August 24, 2013
Drivers are in for a shock if they block pavements in Sidmouth as police crack down on inconsiderate and dangerous parking.
Officers are packaging up warnings to look like tickets that will be stuck on windscreens – but say there will be consequences for repeat offenders.
Town councillor Jack Brokenshire has been appealing for action since Lower Brook Meadow resident Stephanie Edgecumbe’s daughter’s pram was clipped when a vehicle parked on the pavement forced them into the road.
“Nobody can get through – you haven’t got a chance in hell if you go out in the road,” he said at last Monday’s town council meeting. “It’s dangerous up there, someone’s going to get hurt – we need to make sure it doesn’t happen in the first place.”
He drew the matter to the attention of the chief constable of the police force, who told him that it is legal to park on the pavement, but an offence to cause an obstruction.
Sergeant Andy Squires said that highways run from ‘boundary to boundary’, such as from one wall to another, and there is a legal ‘grey area’ in what constitutes an obstruction.
He said parking on a pavement does not always block a path, but police can issue fines if there is an issue.
“There is no reason why someone with a wheelchair or a push chair should be forced into the road,” Sgt Squires said after the meeting.
“If a driver gets a ticket, it’s because they haven’t listened.”
Ann Liverton said many of the roads in the town were built before cars were prevalent, and there is often nowhere else for residents to park.
But in the case of Lower Brook Meadow, where Cllr Graham Liverton once lived, he said there is elsewhere to park, just a little further from the residents’ houses.
Motorists who block pavements will be given leaflets – dressed up as parking tickets – informing them of the risk they caused, and advising them to park elsewhere.
Registration details will be taken, and repeat offenders will have visits from the police, and then face a fixed penalty.