Wednesday 13 May 2009

It's OK, my car has a disabled sticker

This car is not parked completely across a pavement in S. Gloucs near UWE , it is in fact parked completely across a shared bike path/pavement. You can just make out some tyre tracks underneath, leading up to the entrance of the bike path in the fence, an entrance slightly obscured by the vehicle HY03XEW. That path leads to Stoke Park and then Eastville; to the left of the picture is the path to UWE, behind the camera the path to Lockleaze. This vehicle, then, is blocking a three way junction of what is a key route in the Northern Fringe area of the Cycling City infrastructure

Some people may view blocking what is part of our new cycling city plan as an inordinately selfish activity. But this vehicle has a disabled sticker on it, from Bristol City Council. Which would make it OK -accept of course this is S. Gloucestershire, not Bristol, and we aren't sure if the disabled permit applies. Furthermore disabled parking normally has a time limit on it, which a vehicle that was here at 10:00 and still there at 14:30 would normally exceed. So there is the argument that disabled sticker or not, it would be OK to ticket or tow this car.

Except, the legal status of this road has been up in the air, as it was the HP Gate 2 entrance, now sold off and ultimately to become a public highway on the route to the tailspin housing estate. Thus the appearance of this car completely blocking the road is something to be grateful for, as it has provided incentive for everyone to come up with a plan for dealing with it. As the email from S Gloucs. council says
"at present the Police still have the power to deal with this type of issue using laws of 'Obstruction'. Apparently under the traffic management act of 2004 some local authorities have taken on this role but not SGC so far."
So there you have it.
  1. The number for South Gloucestershire Parking enforcement is 01454 868000.
  2. The phone number for Avon and Somerset Police is 0845 456 7000
Rather than have people try and remember this number, some people have -thanks to the actions of this very car- now created a quick reference sheet with these numbers. In fact, it is a quick note to put under the car windscreen warning them that you will be doing this, so that even they turn up and drive off before parking services or the police turn up, they get notified they were doing something wrong. The phone numbers on the sheet are there for the cyclist.
You are illegally blocking a bike lane or path
Starting in the next few days, we will be reporting vehicles doing this
to the local councils' parking services groups —for ticketing and towing!
To avoid cost and inconvenience, please stop parking here.
Bristol Parking Services Control Room: 0117 903 8070
Bristol Parking Services General queries: 0117 922 2198
South Gloucestershire Parking Services: 01454 868000
Avon and Somerset Police: 0845 456 7000
Versions of this handout will be presented at all forthcoming events where the Bristol Cycling Campaign has a stall, but there is nothing to stop all interested parties in the area from printing their own copies and distributing as they see fit.

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