I have a farmhouse at the end of a single track lane that is a public highway. House was empty and derelict and have just spent last 2 years restoring it. There are several neighbours that do not have off road parking and insist on parking outside their houses causing the lane to be blocked to anything other than a standard size car. Even standard cars have to pass so close that they are constantly being scratched by the brush and bushes on the bank opposite the houses. I have offered all residents parking at the Farm verbally but no one has taken up the offer insisting on blocking the lane. When cars are parked as they are the gap is usually 7 feet or less. I have had neighbours turn delivery lorries away and only now today I struggled to get past and had a wheelie bin fall from the bank against my car causing it to be scratched almost its entire length. Emergency vehicles will not get past when cars are parked on the lane. Getting reasonably frustrated now and wish to progress this matter formally. Please let me know what my rights are and the best course of action. Kind Regards ***** *****
Yes the lane is public highway and it is maintained by the local authority.
I have asked highways for help by means of a complaint but they say no action will be taken by them at this time.(helpful)
Thanks. The legal position is relatively straightforward. The Highways Act 1980 Section 137 states “If a person, without lawful authority or excuse, in any way wilfully obstructs the free passage along a highway he is guilty of an offence”
Section 130 of the same Act provides "It is the duty of the highway authority to assert and protect the rights of the public to the use and enjoyment of any highway for which they are the highway authority, including any roadside waste which forms part of it."
The police or the local authority have powers to remove obstructions and can prosecute offenders.
The local authority has no option but to assist if you can show that the parking is imparing your ability to pass over the public highway. It cannot just decide not to assist. If this is their present position, you could in the first instance ask the police to assist but they have an option as to whether to help or not unlike the local authority.
You can also make a complaint to the local authority regarding their response and remind them of their above statutory duty. If you remain unsatisified with their response to your complaint you can refer your complaint to the Local Authority Ombudsman which can independently review your complaint and make a decision. Decisions of the Ombudsman are not legally binding upon the local authority but local authorities will typically observe them so the Ombudsman can be an effect form of redress.
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Thanks for this.
As the obstructions are intermittent and varied in their timescales etc. I feel the local authority is going to be of little use. is there a way I could engage with the househloders legally to steer a resolution to the matter?