Car-parking revisited

Judging by the volume of correspondence we’ve received since the article on problem car-parking in Newsletter 21, it is an important issue for many of our members. Thank you all for copies of your sets of correspondence, going back over several years.

A number of locations have been specifically mentioned, including:

  • Perne Road, where a campaign member has been in correspondence with BT’s public relations office, over their drivers’ repeated parking across both a mandatory cycle lane and the zig-zags of a pedestrian crossing.
  • Huntingdon Road, where a police car was parked in a mandatory cycle lane (see Letters). We hope to hear more details of the police response soon. There may, though, be significant exemptions for certain broad classes of vehicle – more news to follow.

We now know that:

  • parking in a mandatory cycle lane is an offence for which a non-endorsable Fixed Penalty Notice can be issued, the penalty being £20,
  • parking within the limitations of a Pedestrian Crossing is an offence for which an endorsable Fixed Penalty Notice can be issued, the penalty being £40 and three penalty points on the driver’s licence,
  • driving in a cycle lane is a non-endorsable offence, for which a Fixed Penalty Notice may be issued, but ‘…at officers’ discretion. For the majority of cases however, a verbal warning would probably be appropriate.’
  • To enforce a penalty, the ticket must be placed on the vehicle at the time of the offence.
A BT driver managed to park obstructing both a cycle lane and a pedestrian crossing.
Image as described adjacent

We have finally received a reply to our letter to the City Council, which requested that the CCTV cameras should be used to provide evidence on this issue. Unfortunately for us, the reply was that the police have to ask the City for information from the tapes; the City cannot offer it to the police. So no progress yet.

Curiously, Anglia TV picked up the article from our last newsletter, and invited us to contribute to a five-minute community program on antisocial car parking, to be shown on Monday 25 January. They also covered the issue from the perspective of pedestrians in general, blind people and those with pushchairs and prams. I had worried that all Cambridge motorists would be model citizens on the day of filming. Needless to say, I had nothing to worry about! The cycle lane opposite Tommy Tuckers on Milton Road provided plenty of good examples in broad daylight.

Clare Macrae