Illegal parking

David Cook
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Wed 24 Apr, 17:11

Philip I did not mention anything about the right to park, I made the point that residents in Thames street who do not have off street parkimng are being inconvenienced by rail commuter parking. A permit scheme would assist. You may consider parking on nine acres causes and obstruction but it is not illegal. Angus your comments are out of order,  I have owned a house in Thames street for 32years, parking was not an issue in 1987.

Rosemary Bennett
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Thu 18 Apr, 21:44

Yes Leah, you're absolutely right, the pavement is very awkward and a bit too narrow to walk on, and it does tempt you to walk on the road to save tripping over yourself! 

Leah Fowler
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Thu 18 Apr, 13:56 (last edited on Thu 18 Apr, 13:57)

The pavement slopes considerably there which makes it very difficult to walk 

Liz Puttick
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Thu 18 Apr, 12:25

Another problem to compound the danger of parking on the bend in Park St/Grammar School Hill is that pedestrians quite often walk on the road instead of the pavement - sometimes unnecessarily but sometimes you have to with people coming the other way. So pending yellow lines, please people keep to the pavement where possible and please cars don't speed!

Christine Battersby
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Thu 18 Apr, 10:43

I'm not sure how much of the current parking problems can be put down to parking for Charlbury station. I don't use the station so much now that Oxford Parkway is open, but when I do I always now find plenty of parking. Increased parking at Hanborough (with more to come) has also helped. 

When Chipping Norton expands so dramatically in the next few years, the problem for parking near the station might get worse again. Chippy has lost its bus link with Kingham station, but on the other hand has good buses to Oxford Parkway (unlike Charlbury). 

It's certainly true, however, that building new houses without adequate garaging & parking space is one of the main culprits, & that the parking in Thames Street & 9 Acres Lane is very dangerous. Also, the age profile of Charlbury has changed, so fewer people walk to the Coop for their shopping trips. Parking there for the Community Centre also puts pressure of those spaces.

Rosemary Bennett
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Thu 18 Apr, 08:32 (last edited on Fri 19 Apr, 14:35)

Charlbury itself, in a way, has asked for all these parking problems, by not recognising the completely obvious some years ago. Simply put, Charlbury worked as a small town. Charlbury, as a satellite town (which I have argued before, against lots of disagreement), doesn't work so well. It's not only here but in most small towns anywhere near a railhead. It's now nearly impossible to manage the numbers, there simply aren't enough parking spaces. Even the Co-op c/p is overflowing most of the time. New houses do have their own parking of course, but commonly the new garage that comes with the house is turned into a useful spare room or storage area, so then there is another car (or two+) living on the road. There are no rights to park on the roadside, it's just an assumption.

Angus B
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Wed 17 Apr, 20:28

I would've thought that an assured off-road parking slot was essential before deciding to buy a house in a town centre. 

Philip Ambrose
👍 3

Wed 17 Apr, 18:21

Sorry Mr Cook, but Alan Cobb is absolutely correct in identifying parking on that junction as a major problem. Just because one lives somewhere without off-street parking does not give one the right to park illegally or cause an obstruction. 

David Cook
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Wed 17 Apr, 18:02

Thanks Rosemary

I would also add the speed that some vehicles travel down Thames Street is excessive, yellow lines may see vehicles travel at greater speed in the absence of parked cars.

Rosemary Bennett
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Wed 17 Apr, 15:54

Fair point, David.

David Cook
👍 1

Wed 17 Apr, 15:37

Liz

we do not need yellow lines in Thames Street, some of the residents in Thames STreet do not have off street parking. What we need is parking permits for residence only to stop rail commuters using Thames Street as free parking alternative to station parking.

Residents are forced to park in NIne Acres because of commuter parking in Thames Street.

Liz Leffman
👍 1

Tue 16 Apr, 12:42

Therre are lots of places around the town where parking could be improved and this will all be part of the consultation.

Alan Cobb
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Tue 16 Apr, 08:43 (last edited on Tue 16 Apr, 08:44)

Liz.

Surely the yellow lines also need to be on Thames St opposite the junction with  Nine Acres.  Part of the problem with turning in and out of the junction is the cars parked on Thames St restricting the turning area.

Philip Ambrose
👍 2

Tue 16 Apr, 07:44

Liz highlights a resource issue as regards enforcement.

If speeding can have a community led scheme, why not illegal parking? 

It's much easier to gather photographic evidence of a static vehicle!

Liz Leffman
👍 1

Mon 15 Apr, 22:41 (last edited on Mon 15 Apr, 23:01)

Yes, Al, that is exactly why we need to extend the double yellow lines further up the road,  so people don't park too near the junction and cause the obstructions you describe.  Unfortunately, relying on the police to stop people parking there will not happen, with just one PCSO covering the north of West Oxfordshire, and no police station nearer than Witney.

Rosemary Bennett
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Mon 15 Apr, 18:14

Thanks Liz.

Hannen Beith
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Mon 15 Apr, 17:52

Hugh.  I agree.

Al Parnham
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Mon 15 Apr, 12:43

"WODC are responsible for enforcement and there is a parking attendant who visits Charlbury who will hopefully be giving anyone who parks on a double yellow line on Nine Acres a ticket."

I'm afraid, Ms. Leffman, that your comment here completely misses the point. It would take a complete halfwit to park on the yellow lines at the junction of Nine Acres with the Chippy road, so I don't think that your parking attendant is going to have much success there.  Ten minutes of direct observation on your part would show you that when a vehicle is parked just after the yellow lines finish,three obstructions to traffic are created, all of them dangerous.

1. Traffic coming from Chippy and turning left is unexpectedly confronted by a parked vehicle in its path, necessitating either a quick stop or a swerve into  the other lane.

2.Traffic coming from the Burford side may similarly find its access impeded by the parked  vehicle and,possibly, by oncoming traffic.

3.Traffic trying to leave  Nine Acres may find oncoming vehicles unexpectedly in its path.

It would be much better to report obstructive parking to the police, as offences of unnecessary and wilful obstruction. The police  could use their  discretion as to whether to proceed to issue fixed penalty notices for Wilful Obstruction of the Highway,Section 137 Highways Act 1980, or Unnecessary Obstruction,Section 42 Road Traffic Act1988, or to be more severe and prosecute for Leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position, Section 22 Road Traffic Act 1988.

I think that such action could apply to any vehicle left anywhere on the garage side of the road in such a position as to reduce the carriageway to single width.

Someone would have to report the offence to the police,though.

Hugh Belshaw
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Mon 15 Apr, 11:02

I know this will not be popular but is not the sensible solution to create an off-road car park on that nice green space outside the Old Grammar School. We currently lack spacs to keep all these cars that we find so necessary to our every-day activities.

Liz Leffman
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Sun 14 Apr, 18:36

Before anything is done, there will be a consultation which will include these and other places in the town, Rosemary.

Hannen Beith
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Sun 14 Apr, 13:35

Thanks Liz.

Your comments are appreciated.

Rosemary Bennett
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Sun 14 Apr, 12:34

That is good to hear and thanks, Liz. Does your statement infer that plans have already been made for Nine Acres Lane? Can Grammar School Hill be added to the list, please?

Liz Leffman
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Sun 14 Apr, 10:26

You are absolutely right, Rosemary - we have suffered from a lack of long term planning, living hand to mouth from year to year.  But this year we have moved to a 10 year rolling budget!  Hurrah!  At last we may be able to make plans for long term road maintenance.  And my group will be keeping a careful eye on how this is managed.

Hannen, WODC are responsible for enforcement and there is a parking attendant who visits Charlbury who will hopefully be giving anyone who parks on a double yellow line on Nine Acres a ticket.

Hannen Beith
👍 1

Sat 13 Apr, 20:03

I support you Liz, but without the enforcement will it be effective?

I regularly see cars parked on double yellows, and in the disabled space outside the Co-op (without a blue badge).  I do think it's a waste of resources to paint more double yellows if people park there with impunity.

I appreciate that the enforcement issue is part and parcel of the budgetary restrictions.  No, I don't have an answer, but wonder why time and effort and money will be wasted on a policy which (because it is not "complete") is doomed to failure.

In my opinion, the failure (if one has to call it that) lies with the Planners who allow development but ignore the implications on the infrastructure.  Fair enough, it's not their brief.  Shopped in Chippy today again where I can park and shop without hassle, or the danger of blocked sightlines on so many junctions.

So now I am shopping in Chippy, (occasionally) and using Oxford Parkway for rail travel (always).

Rosemary Bennett
👍 1

Sat 13 Apr, 16:29

Thanks Liz. I can fully understand that there have been many cuts to budgets resulting in fewer staff dealing with outstanding problems such as the state of the roads, and so. What I can not understand is the long-term planning. There never seems to be any. Ever since Tony Blair appointed John Prescott to his Deputy, I have been waiting for a long-term plan to emerge. Prescott made a big song and dance about his intention of integrating public transport systems, and he appeared quite determined. Nothing ever came of it.

I know this is a long way off the original topic, but had we ever achieved a fully integrated public transport system, the question wouldn 't have been necessary in the first place. 

Liz Leffman
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Sat 13 Apr, 09:12 (last edited on Sat 13 Apr, 09:17)

Getting the yellow lines sorted on Nine Acres Lane is a priority and I am working on it with the Town Council and OCC. But the shortage of money for roads has been a major problem everywhere.  It isn't just the cost of the work, it's the fact that OCC has cut the number of officers to do this work over the past years and is very short staffed in Highways.  Now thank goodness after much lobbying by me and my colleagues they have realised that we need the money and an extra £30 million has been put into this year's budget which means that work like this should be done fairly soon. The trouble it though that everyone across the county has similar issues with roads so we have to join the queue.

Rosemary Bennett
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Sat 13 Apr, 07:59

These issues around casual parking anywhere and everywhere in Charlbury have been gradually building up for years. The town has expanded massively over the period that I have lived here, but nothing has changed for car owners except that the station car park necessarily gets larger and larger. There are never years of hold-ups at the planning level to introduce more houses being built in and around the town, like everyhere else, but I do wonder what those busy town planners think about the problem of numerous vehicles being introduced into the area, and the prospect of this continuing ad infinitum. Are we just very bad at planning in the longer term for things that we know are inevitable, or what?

Susie Finch
(site admin)
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Fri 12 Apr, 17:41

Al, plenty of requests were made by the Town Council, and hopefully it will be dealt with soon.

Al Parnham
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Fri 12 Apr, 16:40

I was very surprised,when driving through Charlbury recently, to see how dangerous the Nine Acres junction still is, after so many years and so many opportunities to put it right. No vehicle was parked 'illegally' - nothing was on the double yellow lines - but several  vehicles were parked in such away as to cause an obstruction,which is illegal, and which the police can be asked to deal with. There is a real hazard here, no matter from which direction the junction is approached.

How has the Town Council allowed this danger to persist for so many years? Is it entirely impotent? Does the County Highway authority simply not listen to its requests, if it has ever made any?

Rosemary Bennett
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Thu 11 Apr, 17:01

I am glad that this link has now provided us with more views and information. I can agree with those who have seen the cars parked not just during drop-off or pick-up times for the pre-school, and sorry Liz, but most of the days are not now so fine. Not having anyone to monitor the road is the downside. No-one likes to see traffic wardens prowling around, and if there are no yellow lines anyway, they wouldn't be able to issue a ticket, would they.

So it would seem that we really do need some double yellow lines around the Charlbury streets, and I would say particularly on Nine Acres Lane and Grammar School Hill, soon.

Chris Tatton
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Thu 11 Apr, 11:15

I think Laura is right, there have been some cars parked for long periods on this dangerous bend this week, when pre-school is presumably on holiday. Also many pre-school parents walk their children to the Old Grammar school, or considerately Park their cars on the straight road past the corner.

Laura Barwood
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Thu 11 Apr, 07:29

I am Chair of Pre-School and we contacted the town council a year ago who were already aware of the problem. We consistently remind parents not to park on the bend. I believe a 20mph speed limit is being enforced along there shortly and we are hoping for some yellow lines on the bend too. It is definitely more of an issue during pick ups and drop offs but we believe people park there for other reasons such as avoiding train station parking fees.

Angus B
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Wed 10 Apr, 22:14

Just to clarify: "Certain rules in the Highway Code are legal requirements and are identified by the words 'must' or 'must not'. ... Although failure to comply with the other rules would not, in itself, cause a person to be prosecuted, the Highway Code may be used in court under the Road Traffic Act to establish liability."

Emma Webster
👍 2

Wed 10 Apr, 20:44

I drive down here between 5 and 5.30 pm a couple of times a week and most times have this problem. So I think it isn’t just people dropping at preschool for a short period. I would love to see a short section of double yellows on this bend. It’s really dangerous. 

Alan Cobb
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Wed 10 Apr, 20:29

Another solution would be to make Park St and Grammar School Hill into a one way street - similar to what was done on Market St many years ago. 

Liz Leffman
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Wed 10 Apr, 19:53 (last edited on Wed 10 Apr, 20:12)

The problem on Grammar School Hill occurs because people park there when going to the pre-school, so it is only at certain times of the day - most of the day it is fine. It is very dangerous to park on that bend and I have had a couple of near misses there myself. The school is aware of the problems it causes and reguarly asks people not to park on the bend but unfortunately they are too often ignored.  It is something that has been raised with the Town Council and OCC and we are jointly looking at what can be done - possibly yellow lines just on the bend so that it does not make it difficult for residents to park further down.  They would have to be enforced, and that is down to WODC. There will be a consultation shortly on this and other proposed changes to parking in the town, for example extending the yellow lines on Nine Acres Lane to prevent parking too close to the corner.  It is however a work in progress so don't expect anything very soon!

Hannen Beith
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Wed 10 Apr, 19:42

I agree with Rosemary.

Parking in many places in Charlbury has the potential to cause accidents.  Large cars are parked near corners obscuring sightlines.  Fishers Lane, Dancers Hill, and others.  Driving down Sheep Street is not for the faint hearted, unless you enjoy chicanes.  Pooles Lane is another "nightmare" road.  As for Dyers Hill...

However, I think that we should be slow to "blame" the car owners.  The fact to me seems to be that construction of new "mini-estates" has resulted in considerable additional pressure on available parking on the streets of Charlbury.  Has anyone succeeded recently in parking outside the Pharmacy?  Not on the yellow lines, which many do.

Also, Traffic Wardens have disappeared, as have local Police, so there is no enforcement.

I can walk into central Charlbury but that is impractical if you are going to shop.  At least it is for me.  Two weeks ago I drove into Charlbury to park in the Spendlove to visit the Co-op, Deli, and Larcums.  Nowhere to park at all, whether legally or illegally, and after driving round twice and being reluctant to join the queue of four cars waiting for someone to move from the Spendlove car park (there each time), I drove to Chippy.  15 minutes.  Plenty of car parking at the Co-op there, and cheaper prices.

I do think that this needs to be looked at.  Perhaps a 60 minute limit at the Spendlove?  

One reason I don't use Charlbury Station anymore is because that during the week (apart from school holidays) it's impossible to park.  It takes me about 20 to 25 minutes to drive to Oxford Parkway where parking is in reality guaranteed.  

This must be taking a toll on commercial activity in the town centre.  It needs addressing by the appropriate body.

So there is a safety aspect, highlighted by Rosemary, and a commercial aspect. 

Rosemary Bennett
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Wed 10 Apr, 14:20 (last edited on Wed 10 Apr, 14:20)

If Chris has twice witnessed two near head on accidents, how many more near incidents might there be in the course of a year? This seems to indicate that parking on that spot is a regular occurrence. And how long before ..........

I think this issue of dangerous parking in Charlbury is worth more serious debate, as clearly, Grammar School Hill is not the only place that has become dangerous.

sharon
👍 3

Wed 10 Apr, 13:49

It's the same when people park on ticknell piece road dropping there children off at school you can not see if your coming down the road you have to drive on the other side of the road all I can say is they have no consideration for anyone else but themselves.

Chris Tatton
👍 4

Wed 10 Apr, 12:30

I think Rosemary raises an important point regarding dangerous parking on the bend outside pre-school. Whilst walking by there I have twice witnessed two near head on accidents. Traffic coming out of Charlbury is forced into the path of oncoming traffic when cars are parked on or near this nasty bend. Hopefully something will be done before there is an accident there and someone is injured.

Rosemary Bennett
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Wed 10 Apr, 11:25

There are guidelines about this. It is 'an offence' to park on a blind bend and it can lead to prosecution with potentially heavy fines if there is proof that an accident or damage was caused because of it. It appears that this applies whether or not there are double yellow lines.

Regarding missing the point, Huw. I thought I'd made the point in my previous post.

Huw Mallins-Brown
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Tue 9 Apr, 22:09

To the best of my knowledge it is not illegal to park on Grammar School Hill - or have I missed the point?

Rosemary Bennett
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Tue 9 Apr, 20:50

Thanks Philip, that's helpful and kind of you as I thought no-one at all was interested. When I was driving out as I described, my having to pull over to the righthand lane to get past the parked cars did put me in a situation thet could well have been a head-on, had any unthinking driver been speeding down the road towards town. I could not see round the bend and anything could have happened in those split seconds..... we know that some people do drive too fast around Charlbury, as we see from the monitoring programme. As for anyone parking on the righthand side of the road, around the bend, it could be exactly the same kind of situation, but happening in the opposite lane.

Within this context, I worked at the Fire Service College for long enough to have seen many videos and simulated fireground exercises of various scenarios for incident training, and believe me, it makes one very aware of the severity and the potential hazard of RTI's.

Philip Ambrose
👍 2

Tue 9 Apr, 19:04

1. Yes, insofar as one is causing an obstruction, (even if there are no yellow lines).

2. Is it asking for a head on collision? well not exactly, parking on the right hand side would be far more likely to result in a head -on collision, but I see what you mean.

While on the subject of parking, it is illegal to park within 9 metres of a road junction e.g. Nine Acre / Market Street junction. No excuses - it's there in The Highway Code!

It is also illegal to park on the wrong side of a two-way road at night e.g. Enstone Road where many cars are parked pointing downhill towards town on the right hand side. Parking on that same side pointing away from town is fine, as your reflectors will be seen by any vehicles leaving town. Not rocket science, just common sense.

Rosemary Bennett
👍 3

Fri 5 Apr, 17:54 (last edited on Fri 5 Apr, 17:54)

I thought it was illegal to park on a blind bend. Twice recently I have been driving out of Charlbury past the pre-school, to find that there are cars parked on the left-hand side of the road almost up to the bend. It is so dangerous. It is asking for a head-on collision. Is anyone else out there concerned about this?

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