15th December 2015
- Author: Graham Parish
- Published: 29th June 2015
Graham Parish of Hilltop Garage - http://www.clanfieldonline.com/27/184/hilltop-garage-horndean
What can you do if you find your driveway blocked?
Inconsiderate parking and blocking a driveway belonging to someone else is a common cause of dispute. It's a major headache if you can't get in or out of your property. It's even worse if it's your neighbours who are at fault.
When faced with this situation, many homeowners come out brandishing a copy of the Highway Code, which in paragraph 243, requests that motorists "DO NOT PARK in front of an entrance to a property".
The problem is that it isn't actually illegal for a motorist to park in front of a private driveway, despite the wording of the Highway Code. The important thing to pay attention to is the language used in the rulings. If 'Do not' is used in the Highway Code, then this is an advisory notice; but there is no legal comeback if a motorist chooses to ignore it. However, if a rule states 'Must not' then this is a legal requirement and the driver must therefore obey or face legal action.
If you do suffer from a repeat offender who insists on blocking your driveway then proceed with caution. Because you are not backed up by law, the best thing you can do is to approach the motorist calmly and try to sort out the situation amicably.
If they continue to park in front of your driveway, effectively blocking your access to the property, then your options are limited. You can, of course, park in front of your own driveway to ensure you have full access to your property. If you do this often enough they'll probably get bored and give up. It does however seem incredibly unfair that someone can behave in this way when you have paid for your home to have safe off road parking and you are considerate enough not to act in the same manner.
If you are blocked from exiting your drive, then you might find a kind police officer who will make enquiries for you, contact the owner and ask them to move their vehicle. However the police are not bound to act in these cases. According to the Highway Code every driver has a right to park anywhere on a public highway except those places which are expressly forbidden.
The important thing is to stay calm, discuss the problem with the motorist and find a solution that works for both.
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