A legal challenge is perhaps now needed

I WOULD like to thank your contributor (name and address supplied) on his submission regarding the problem throughout the borough of ‘cars parking on the pavement’.

Although I would extend that to cars parking on the grass and crossing verges, although the latter being less dangerous it often is damaging to the kerbs, grass and footpaths.

It also makes grass cutting difficult, often leaving areas uncut where vehicles were parked.

As a wheelchair user I can sympathise with the contributors concerns. I, like the writer, have attempted for a number of years to get North Tyneside Council to deal with the situation.

After reporting one blatant obstruction to the police, I was informed by a sympathetic officer that because the vehicle was parked partly on the verge that he was unable to proceed with the complaint and that it was the jurisdiction of North Tyneside Council.

I contacted the council highways, who refused to accept responsibility, stating that it was the police’s responsibility.

This started a lengthy correspondence with the police, council and the government minister through Stephen Byers and was flabbergasted to find that there is no law, other than obstruction to deal with vehicles parking on verges and especially paths.

Recently I had cause to again raise the subject with my local ward councillor and again was told that there is no law to deal with this problem.

I am of course delighted to hear that the government has now given permission to use signs to indicate a pavement ban, unfortunately I used the same argument by using a local bylaw of trespass, but was informed that while a bylaw did exist, as far as the council is concerned, they had no plans to utilise it.

Reason given was that it would entail placing signs on all verges and that the cost would be astronomical, thus making it infeasible, although one wonders what the cost is in insurance claims to the council for damage by people falling due to broken or uneven paths.

Perhaps a legal challenge through the Disability Discrimination Act would be more successful, as I know the online e-petition and lobbying MPs and ministers by various disabled groups, including myself, have failed miserably to get legislation to get the required law on the statute books, a law that was to be included when the present Highways Act was drawn up, but sadly omitted.