Parking / obstruction laws

There is nowhere to park on my university campus, which poses a real problem for us broke students as the only spaces available nearby cost £3 a day. This means that students often park in the residential areas.(particularly the backstreet lanes) surrounding the university campus . These lanes have a number of garages in them which students often park opposite. I can sympathesize with the owners of these garages as it makes it more awkward for them to park, these students (myself included) are not blocking their entry to the garages though. I was approached by a man who claimed he would phone the police and have my car towed or ticketted for obstruction, I do not think the law would allow this but wanted to check. There are no road markings in the lane, it is a backstreet lane so isnt their property surely, the people in the garages can definitly still enter and leave when the cars are parked there, it is merely more difficult for them to do so. Am I obstructing their property if they can still get out of their garage? Can I be prosecuted for parking here?

Thank you for any answers you can give
Emma
17:31 Mon 28th Feb 2011
 
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joko
Best Answer
you are doing nothing wrong

many people erroneously believe they own the road outside their houses - they dont

as long as you are not actually preventing them from leaving they have no rights

merely obstructing their field of vision is irrelevant... they must just simply edge out until they can see - like everyone else has to
17:43 Mon 28th Feb 2011 Go To Best Answer

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How hard is it for them to get out of their garages? would the parked cars obstruct their field of vision coming out onto the road?
If you're so broke how can you afford a car?
Question Author
The lane is very long and the garages are in the middle so it has absolutely no effect on them coming out onto the road as they have to drive to the bottom of the lane to exit it anyway. It is difficult but it is possible... as a very poor driver (i passed 4th time) i think i could confidently exit the space myself?
Question Author
why pay an extra £500 odd pound a year just to park my car everyday, when there is a lane nearby which is public property ? i have better things to spend my money on like books for uni :)
The only law that thay can use is is the one of wilful obstruction. Thay would probably have to get a civil suit to serve it though as the police wont get involved.

Or thay might damage your car when your not there ( accidentally ! ) and you would'nt have a leg to stand on if there is no witness.
you are doing nothing wrong

many people erroneously believe they own the road outside their houses - they dont

as long as you are not actually preventing them from leaving they have no rights

merely obstructing their field of vision is irrelevant... they must just simply edge out until they can see - like everyone else has to
unless it's a private lane for their garages? Our garages are round the back of our house and it's private property
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBvysuewIOs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBvysuewIOs
I wouldnt think you are doing anything wrong emma.. and I wouldnt think the police would be too interested.... Next time an annoyed resident threatens the police you can tell him that since there are no parking restrictions in that road they are very unlikely to want their time wasted by his call.
If he is determined he could rally the council to put in yellow lines.. but I shouldnt think the college/uni would be that happy that the students are being forced into paid parking elsewhere.
Just make sure you always park considerately and dont block anyone entering or exiting and you should be fine!
Question Author
I dont think so, there are definitly no signs anywhere? It is just a dodgy backstreet lane!
i was once shouted at by woman as i parked outside her house while working in the nearby hospital...shed waited all day for me to come back and come flying out the house...i was actually baffled

...they had tried to secure the bit of road for themselves by making use of the 'no parking in front of a drive' rule by merely knocking down a 2ft wall...but there was no dropped kerb or H symbol - and actually barely room for a car in front of their house...they had literally just removed the wall i the hope that people would just 'abide'...

i honestly hadnt noticed the missing wall...i just saw a gap in the kerb, no markings at all and parked

had i noticed - i would have parked there anyway to be honest...
i would go on the DVLA site and find the relevant info...and print it out....should anyone challenge you present them with this....
-- answer removed --
Question Author
The man stood infront of my veichle and threatened me... im a 20 year old girl and very small for my age.... it was quite pathetic really. My friend has also been threatened by the VERY rude residents. The lane is not very wide but they can definitly still get in and out, they just cant be bothered to manouvre! my drive always gets parked infront of and i have double yellow lines infront of my house and i have NEVER complained ... oh the irony eh! I am going to write all this down and stick it on his garage though so thanks everyone who commented :-D you have been a massive help!
It's an offence under Regulation 103 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 to "cause or permit a vehicle to stand on a road so as to cause an unnecessary obstruction".

If you were 'ticketed' for that offence, and decided to challenge the prosecution, it would be up to a court to decide the definition of 'an unnecessary obstruction'. However (in my opinion) it's likely that any 'awkward' parking, which caused another driver to have to exercise additional care to that normally required, would be classed as 'causing an unnecessary obstruction'. (The court would probably consider the analogy of 'obstructing a public footpath'. If you place something on a footpath, so that people have to go around it, you're 'obstructing' it, even though people can still move freely around the object. Simply 'creating extra difficulty' seems to be enough to count as 'an unnecessary obstruction').

Chris
You're a student and can afford a car? Things have changed since my day.
We live along a small lane too and it's really irritating when people park directly opposite our garage entrance as it makes turning in and out really difficult. There have been a couple of occasions when we simply couldn't get the car out. I've come to the conclusion that people don't really think when it comes to parking their cars.

If you start sticking notes on garage doors I'd wager that pretty soon you'll be coming back to find your car with 4 deflated tyres, or worse!

How about showing a little bit of consideration for other people and not parking directly opposite a drive or garage in a narrow lane?

And, yes, I agree with some of the others - if youre such a 'broke student' how come you can afford to buy and run a car? Not so broke eh?
Question Author
actually for your information my grandfather died and left me money... with which I bought a car and I work all weekend and some nights (around my demanding degree scheme) for minimum wage in a dead end job to run and afford to pay for my car...!! so if you can kindly not pass judgement on people who you know absolutely nothing about that would be great. So yes broke students can have cars if they work really hard for them... things have obviously changed since your day. I asked a question about whether what I was doing was illegal... not whether it was inconsiderate or to argue about my financial situation.

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