Following a change in legislation to the Traffic Management Act 2004, Cumbria County Council’s Civil Enforcement Officers (previously known as ‘traffic wardens’) will now be able to issue Penalty Charge Notices to any vehicle that is parked partly or completely over a dropped kerb or pedestrian crossing point. The 2004 Act and The Highway Code state that vehicles must not be parked where kerbs have been lowered.
Some crossing points are denoted by tactile paving slabs on the pavement, some have white ‘keep clear’ bars, whilst others have no markings at all other than the footways have been lowered to allow easier crossing of the road. The legislation also applies where a cycle track or verge has been lowered to the level of the carriageway or where the level of the carriageway has been raised to the level of the footway, cycle track or verge.
There are a number of exemptions to this legislation, namely where the vehicle is:
- parked wholly within a designated parking place or any other part of the carriageway where parking is specifically authorised, and therefore permitted.
- parked outside residential premises by or with the consent of the occupier.
- being used by the emergency services.
- being used for delivery of goods or loading or unloading to/from premises, where the delivery, or loading/unloading cannot be carried out without the vehicle being parked either partly or completely over a dropped kerb/pedestrian point and is parked for no longer than is necessary and for no more than 20 minutes.
- being used for any building operation, demolition or excavation; waste collection; removing of obstruction to traffic; road works, signage or lighting; or for undertaking utility works (gas, electricity, water or communication services).
The obstruction of dropped kerbs and pedestrian crossing points can present significant difficulties for visually impaired pedestrians and to those using mobility scooters and wheelchairs. In addition, pedestrians using prams or pushchairs can be greatly inconvenienced.
Prior to commencing full enforcement, the council will be undertaking a period of advice and education to ensure that motorists are aware of the new powers and we will be issuing warning notices to any vehicle which parks partly or wholly across a dropped kerb. From Friday 1 March 2019, the council’s Civil Enforcement Officers will begin issuing Penalty Charge Notices to all vehicles found to be parking in these locations (including blue badge holders). The charge will be £70 which is reduced to £35 if paid within 14 days from the date of issue of the Penalty Charge Notice.
Keith Little, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “These additional powers will assist in improving the safety of all road users and pedestrians. The council receives many complaints regarding illegally and dangerously parked vehicles and is working with a variety of community groups to improve parking availability and compliance. I would encourage all motorists to familiarise themselves with parking restrictions and seek advice if necessary.”
Cumbria County Council’s Parking Services team can be contacted by telephone 0300 3032992 or e-mail [email protected]