Vehicles Blocking Driveways

Driveway Parking

We receive many complaints about vehicles blocking driveways, entrances to and exits from property. This is seldom a question of the blockage being caused by a vehicle waiting, but by parking, ie the driver leaving the vehicle. Often the blockage is partial, but still sufficient to block the driveway and block the view of approaching vehicles in the roadway, even of pedestrians on pavements.

Such blockage is illegal as well as inconsiderate. Several London Boroughs took over the power to control this practice, along with other vehicle offences, from the police in 2013, but Kingston did not. Kingston’s excuse was that it had no yard to which it could take the vehicles offending by blocking driveways. The power to enforce the free entrance to and exit from properties has therefore remained with the police in Kingston.

A member of this Association noted that many other traffic regulations made by Kingston Borough in its own right require removal of the offending vehicle and taking it to a safe place, ie a yard. We enquired what this yard was, and how the offending vehicles were removed and kept. We discovered that there is no yard to which offending vehicles are taken for any offence, and that what RBK does is to book the offending vehicle for the offence, which means a fine for the owner and to do so repeatedly while the vehicle remains. We thought that such booking and fining would ultimately act as a deterrent to blocking driveways.

We have nevertheless put an enquiry to Kingston Police, about how often they receive complaints about vehicles blocking driveways, how often they act on those complaints, and what they do. We also asked how they see their power to book these vehicles in the future. The police have not yet replied. We will then raise the matter with RBK again, with a view to having RBK book offenders in future.

Vehicles often park across driveways with the permission of the occupant of the property. The problem is with the vehicle owners who park without asking for permission, and without leaving a note about where they might be found, and leave the vehicle while they go elsewhere, often for prolonged periods. If you observe that being done, it is best to intervene, even if permission has been obtained. Intervening might mean your neighbour can get in or out, or even yourself, next time. It could also set up a culture of behaving properly. Even trades people should make arrangements with property occupants about parking across driveways, not assume they can park any old how.

10:58, 16 Nov 2017 by Natalie Walton

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