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Newsletter, October 2003 (Issue 153)

Parking Problems


Illegal Parking in Ipswich
It is becoming apparent that a, significant proportion of motorists do not read the plates restricting parking, particularly where, for reasons of visual intrusion, yellow lines have not been used. A typical case is St Peter's Street, recently repaved and an Ipswich Society Award winner but now subject to almost saturation parking. There are clearly marked parking bays which allow customers of the local businesses to park for a short time, but cars are frequently parked in any other convenient space, blocking the road and restricting access for emergency vehicles. Rich picking here for an astute warden.

The open question is how do we inform motorists of parking restrictions without yellow lines or other visually intrusive street furniture? The answer is ably demonstrated along the Northern Quays where a heavy chain keeps cars off the pavement; this is unfortunately not a suitable solution for St Peter's Street.

Parking on the Pavement
Parking on the pavement is inconsiderate, particularly for pedestrians, and has other consequences including damaging the surface, which makes the footway unsafe when the vehicle has gone. However, parking on the pavement has become the norm both in the town centre for delivery drivers and in the residential suburbs where cars are left on the pavement overnight. Many suburban streets are now reduced to a single vehicle width (or less) by vehicles parked on both sides and are subject to local congestion. In London, parking on footpaths is not permitted; however there is no equivalent Act in force elsewhere.

The Department of Transport is sufficiently concerned to have recently commissioned consultants to carry out research and recommend possible remedial actions. One possibility is that the Department might identify ways of helping local authorities to use Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) to control pavement parking, but we wouldn't want to see signs and lines having a bigger visual impact than the parked cars.

Sign o' the Times
Amendments to the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions mean that it is no longer necessary to display no waiting "at any time" signs next to double yellow lines. This should give the Borough Council the opportunity to take down signs and the grey post on to which they are fixed, thus removing street clutter and improve the street scene. The posts obstruct the footway, especially for the visually impaired and for parents with buggies. Nottingham City Council have taken the lead in this and employ a "clutter buster" to remove these and other redundant traffic signs - a move which is already making an impact on the conservation areas in the middle of the city.

JOHN NORMAN

    Front cover of issue 153 Cover, issue 153

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