– Common Parking Problems
– What the Highway Code Says
Parking Issues: Don’t Block Thy Neighbours Parking
I am writing this from both sides of the coin so to speak. The first is from the point of view where we would like to be respected by our driving neighbours and the second is how we should also respect each other!
Every home seems to have a car thesedays and indeed many homes have more than one car. More cars but the same amount of room to park can often spell problems for people with neighbours. For example you may have 2 cars and your neighbour also has two vehicles – if you are both lucky enough to have off road parking, but not lucky enough to fit more than one car each on your respective driveway space, this can cause friction and NFH issues.
If you have no off road parking the problem can intensify. At the NFHiB Forum we have many members who experience parking issues and vehicle problems associated with a Neighbour From Hell.
Everyone is allowed to park on the highway as long as the vehicle is taxed etc, and ensuring the Highway Code is followed, so no parking on double yellows please!
Parking outside someone’s home that is not yours can cause a great deal of distress which you may not be aware of. No one has an automatic right to park outside their own homes if parking on the street, but manners often say otherwise and neighbours often respect each others unwritten or even unspoken agreements to respect parking areas. If we could all park outside our own homes it would be great but it’s not always possible. Visitors and newer people to the street may not realise that you like to park outside your home.
Please do not over react to this; maybe the vehicle parker does not realise that this bothers you, have a friendly word, point out that due to security you like to park outside your own home.
And in the same way if you are able to park outside your home rather than your neighbours, then please do.
Many Neighbour conflicts can be avoided through simple courtesy and communication.
Some people object to vehicles being parked directly outside windows, well it’s a fair point – I wouldn’t want to look at the back end of a van or car from my home! Especially if it wasn’t mine!
If you have no alternative but to park outside someone else’s home please think about how you could do it with out causing the other person stress, can you have a quiet word with them and apologise in advance? Can you pop a note through the letterbox to explain?
Can you park so the most light can get into their house?
A friend of mine has a problem with a white van parked directly outside her window, if the driver took two minutes prior thought, he could park so the bonnet is outside her window rather than the boot of the van which blocks out a lot of light. This means all she sees all day is a big white lump!
So have a think, would someone parking like that affect you?
Driveways are great as long as you don’t have to share that is! Boundary issues and property maintenance arguments may rear their head.
Some neighbours have disputes about how much drive is theirs; please check your house deeds to find out where your driveway boundaries are.
Have respect for each other with this, work together. Keep your driveway clean and accessible for yourself, having a tidy shared driveway will prevent your neighbour from moaning about it. The less ammunition you give your neighbour the better.
But what about the neighbour who insists on parking in front of your driveway?!
Technically the Highway Code is being broken.
The Highway Code
“DO NOT PARK in front of an entrance to a property” – Highway Code point 217
First things first, please do not over react. I know the feeling, you are running late for work, and you need to get to that all important appointment and next door have parked in front of your drive so you can get out.
So take a deep breath and knock on your Neighbours door and politely ask them to move their car.
If your neighbours are decent they will move their car and ensure they don’t park there again!
But maybe they are not decent neighbours?!
So what do you do? Well you could write them a letter and point out they are breaking the highway code, if that doesn’t work then maybe a quiet word with the local police officer or traffic warden will do the trick.
Really, you want to try and sort this situation out before it escalates too much and to something that can’t be fixed.
There are no easy answers here I am afraid; if you feel you can’t talk to your neighbours please consider mediation services, your local council or CAB will be able to point you in the right direction.
The main points to remember are:
Be polite at all times with your neighbour, getting irate will not improve the situation and may make your neighbour less inclined to see it your way.
Follow the Highway Code, just because your neighbour does not follow it does not mean you should sink to their level, maybe you can lead by good example!
Drive and park as you would expect others to drive and park….and that’s in the good way not the bad way!
Point 216: You MUST NOT park in parking spaces reserved for specific users, such as Orange Badge holders or residents, unless entitled to do so. Law RTRA sects 5 & 8.
Point 217: DO NOT park your vehicle or trailer on the road where it would endanger, inconvenience or obstruct pedestrians or other road users. For example, do not stop:
- Near a school entrance
- Anywhere you would prevent access for Emergency Services
- At or near a bus stop or taxi rank
- On the approach to a level 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
- In front of an entrance to a property
- On a bend
Point 218: DO NOT park partially or wholly on the pavement unless signs permit it. Parking on the pavement can obstruct and seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs, the visually impaired and people with prams or pushchairs.
More Highway Code Information:
Many of the rules in the Code are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules you are committing a criminal offence. You may be fined, given penalty points on your licence or be disqualified from driving. In the most serious cases you may be sent to prison. Such rules are identified by the use of the words MUST / MUST NOT. In addition the rule includes an abbreviated reference to the legislation which creates the offence.
Although failure to comply with the other rules of the Code will not, it itself, cause a person to be prosecuted, The Highway Code may be used in evidence in any court proceedings under Traffic Acts to establish liability.
Knowing and applying the rules contained in The Highway Code could significantly reduce road accident casualties. Cutting the number of deaths and injuries that occur on our roads every day is a responsibility we all share. The Highway Code can help us discharge that responsibility.
Taken from the Highway Code Website (no longer active – 2015).
Article last updated February 2004.