Court Order to Remove Disabled Bay – in a Residents’ Parking Scheme
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Regarding Harassment / Anti-Social Behaviour. When getting a Protective Order (injunction) to stop neighbours from harassing us, can we also ask that the Court issue an Order requiring a Disabled Bay be removed?
A disabled person lived in a house close to us. She had an “Advisory” bay painted by the Council on the road so people could pick her up and drop her off. There was no public consultation about this, no gazette etc advertising. The bay did not have the force of law. An “advisory disabled bay” simply asks people to be reasonable and kindly not park in this spot. It cannot be enforced in law. No one can get a ticket for it.
Whether “advisory” or “statutory”, the disabled bay is there for anyone with a Blue Badge to use – despite the proximity to any house (where the disabled occupant that asked for it originally used to live), it is not for the sole use of the adjacent occupant, but for anyone, living anywhere, who has a blue badge, to use.
Since then, the lady has unfortunately passed away. There is no one at that house or close neighbours who has any disability or even a car that they might want to park there.
Some months ago, the Council installed a Residents’ Parking Scheme. There was public consultation, gazette advertising etc. A Traffic Regulations Order (TRO) was issued. This scheme has statutory powers and can be enforced. The Council are still checking to see if the offending Disabled Bay was included in the scheme (ie: whether it has become a “Statutory Disabled Parking Bay” or remains an “Advisory Disabled Parking Bay”). We await the outcome.
Nobody objected to the disabled parking bay continuing, at the time of the consultation for the Residents’ parking scheme, because the occupants of the house were not abusing it at the time, so no one cared.
Disabled People (with Blue Badges) can now parking anywhere in the scheme, without the need for a residents’ parking permit, for free, for as long as they like. To this extent, the fact that any of the disabled bays still exists, is a little pointless, especially where they are outside house no longer occupied by disabled people with cars – they effectively exclude anyone from ever parking in the disabled bay (a disabled person is unlikely to want to park their car outside a strangers house, when they can just as well park it, without restrictions, nearer to where they are going. No occupants at this address or neighbouring addresses have disabilities or even cars. So the space is empty all the time)
However, there has been a long standing problem with a couple who moved in next door to the address of the disabled bay. Threats to Kill, Assaults, Public Disorder, Harassment, Anti-Social Behaviour. They have convictions for all of these in the past – a further case regarding harassment is being prepared.
Their newest tactic has been to use the Disabled Bay to harass neighbours. The disabled bay space is never used, so the postmen, courier services, supermarkets, Argos, etc, etc all find it a wonderful spot to stop and drop off their loads. People receiving such deliveries are powerless to prevent this. The police and Council seem happy for deliverers to stop to drop things off
However, the “nightmare neighbours” in question, come out and start shouting and threatening the deliverers, and then do the same to the people receiving the goods.
The Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour officer (due to cutbacks) say the behaviour is too serious for them to deal with, and in any case they would only help vulnerable people. They tell us to go to the police.
The Police in turn, say it is not serious enough for them to deal with. Due to cutbacks, they must “prioritise” what they can do.
So we have started private legal action against them to get a civil injunction due to the harassment. (we will also ask these (expensive) solicitors) to advise us on this matter, but would appreciate your input at this stage)
Also, the Council state that, while they are legally obliged to put in a disabled bay if one is required, they are not legally required to remove it. They usually just leave it to “wear away”.
The Council do seem sympathetic. They and the police have received many complaints about this and it is costing them many man hours etc.
We have offered to pay the Council a few hundred pounds to remove the bay if it is still just an “Advisory” bay.
We have offered to pay the Council £10,000 if it turns out to be a “Statutory” bay, instituted under the TRO for the Parking Scheme – this is how much they say it will cost to redo the whole TRO which they say is what would have to happen, just to get this one element of the Residents’ Parking Scheme amended. (Legal action might cost us more, so we are willing to consider paying this)
But, in the context of applying for a Protective Order due to the harassment as a whole, of which harassment via the Disabled Bay is just one aspect, would it be possible to ask the Court to issue an Order requiring the Council to remove this surplus disabled bay, so that the Council were not forced to redo all of the Traffic Regulations Order
I think the Council might like to be required to do this – as the alternative of completely revisiting the whole Traffic Regulations Order is not appealing to them (huge work and cost), the nightmare neighbour might well object to the removal of the bay during the consultation (more work and cost) and continued reports of harassment about this bay would lead to yet more work and costs for them
Us getting a Court Order requiring the Council to remove the unused disabled bay in the statutory residents’ parking scheme, might be a neater, quicker, surer and less fraught way to resolve this matter. Can you please tell me if this might be possible to do and how we might go about it?
Also, would we need to instate proceedings in this matter against the harassers, asking for the disabled bay to be removed – which they probably would contest?
Or could we institute the action against the Council, asking for an order to require the Council to remove a disused disabled bay – which the Council might not contest – as a Court Order requiring them to remove a Disabled Bay within a statutory Residents’ Parking Scheme, could be a way to make it possible for the Council to remove the disabled bay, without having to go through the whole TRO consultation, advertising etc process all over again
Please let me know what approaches could be taken and how (practical steps)
I will pay a bonus depending on how helpful, relevant, detailed and practical the answer is.