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New taskforce cracks down on dangerous parking

Published on Wednesday, April 25, 2018

DRIVERS who park so dangerously that they cause a hazard to other road users and pedestrians are being targeted in a road safety crackdown led by Leicester City Council.


The council campaign, led by assistant city mayor for neighbourhood services Cllr Kirk Master, has joined forces with the police, fire and ambulance services and the city council’s waste management provider, Biffa, to create the Dangerous Parking Taskforce (DPT).


Concerns about dangerous and obstructive parking have been raised with the city council in city centre and residential areas as well as the main arterial routes into the city.


The newly formed DPT carried out the first in a series of planned dangerous parking events on Wednesday, April 25, in terraced streets in the Wycliffe, Spinney Hills and North Evington wards.


A fire engine and a bin lorry were driven along streets to identify locations where dangerous or inconsiderate parking causes an obstruction.


Council civil enforcement officers (CEOs) issued penalty charge notices to vehicles parked dangerously or contravening parking restrictions, such as single or double yellow lines.


The refuse lorry and fire tender got stuck five times on the route, on one occasion taking three minutes of reversing back and forth to get round parked vehicles.


Two fixed penalty notices were issued, but in seven other instances the vehicle involved was driven away before a ticket could be issued.


In addition, around 75 dummy parking tickets from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service were issued, reminding drivers of the importance of parking responsibly.


Police officers, city wardens and council CEOs were on hand to provide practical advice and information about parking considerately.


Motorists currently face immediate fines if they park recklessly in areas such as school zig-zag markings, in bus clearways, or on double yellow lines in dangerous locations such as corners, junctions or across drop kerbs.


Examples of inconsiderate parking reported in the city have included vehicles parked across tactile crossings which prevented wheelchair and pushchair users from crossing the road safely; and vehicles parked fully on the pavement, preventing safe use and forcing pedestrians to walk in to the road.


Leicester assistant city mayor for neighbourhood services, Cllr Kirk Master, said: “Dangerous, irresponsible and obstructive parking causes serious problems by putting other road users and pedestrians at risk.


“All too often it has a knock-on effect of blocking the free flow of traffic, causing congestion and disruption, and at worst obstructing emergency service vehicles and potentially putting lives at risk.


“As well as an enforcement role, the DPT also has an educational role, to inform motorists about the risks of parking dangerously, both to themselves and other road users.


“The City Council is also discussing the potential of other agencies joining the DPT, such as the DVLA, who carry out clamping operations for vehicles without the appropriate MOT, tax and insurance.”


Station manager at Eastern Fire and Rescue Station, Sanjay Bulsara, added: “We are often affected when responding to emergency incidents as a result of people parking their vehicles dangerously.


"Irresponsible and obstructive parking has the potential to delay our attendance at life threatening incidents.


“We want our local communities to be aware of this issue and be considerate when parking. If we cannot get past to respond to an emergency call, the outcome could be fatal.


“Inconsiderate parking also affects the police, ambulance service, city council and its waste management provider, Biffa, which is why we have all joined forces to take part in the dangerous parking taskforce operation.


“We hope this will highlight the issues we face on a regular basis and make people think about how they park.


“Please park considerately and help us respond to emergencies without delay.”


Further DPT events are planned during summer 2018.