Essex Police launch parking initiative in Saffron Walden

PUBLISHED: 09:43 26 January 2010 | UPDATED: 22:07 31 May 2010

THOUGHTLESS motorists who park their cars on pavements - potentially obstructing the emergency services - will be tackled in a new police initiative. The problem is rife along Saffron Walden s narrow medieval streets, but Uttlesford District Council s pa

THOUGHTLESS motorists who park their cars on pavements - potentially obstructing the emergency services - will be tackled in a new police initiative.

The problem is rife along Saffron Walden's narrow medieval streets, but Uttlesford District Council's parking attendants have no power to deal with cases of obstruction.

Now, divisional commander for Uttlesford, Chf Insp Joe Wrigley, is hoping to solve the district-wide problem with what he is calling a police led "community solution".

Although there is no national legislation banning the parking of vehicles on pavements, there are powers that police can use in relation to unnecessary or wilful obstruction.

"Neighbourhood policing teams are mapping where the problems are and we are responding to obvious and overt breaches of the law by knocking on doors and asking for vehicles to be moved," said Chf Insp Wrigley.

"If they are not, or we feel the circumstances dictate, then we will issue them with fixed penalty notices."

Initially, communities will be asked to take the lead in reducing incidents of pavement parking and advice will be offered to people through a leaflet.

But Chf Insp Wrigley warned that police will be backing up the initiative with a "period of enforcement".

"If a vehicle is found to still be in contravention of the law then we will seek to prosecute the offender through the courts where, in some circumstances, we will apply for the confiscation of the vehicle," he said.

The move is being backed by Paul Curtis from Saffron Walden fire station who said his firefighters deal with about 500 incidents in the town every year.

"We have the power to remove vehicles if they are blocking our access, but we only use this as a last resort," said Mr Curtis.

"We have had problems in the past getting to an emergency and, although no has died because of this, it has come close.

"There are a number of roads around the town that can potentially be a problem for us such as King Street, especially over the weekend."

Report car parking obstructions to your neighbourhood policing teams on:

Saffron Walden: 07779 037084

Thaxted and Newport: 07779 085615

Clavering: 07837 384455

Stansted North: 07801 461666

Great Dunmow: 07989 174801

Felsted and Stebbing: 07779 085616

Hatfield Heath: 07779 316979.

If you are unsure which neighbourhood you fall under then visit www.essex.police.uk/my_neighbourhood and enter your postcode.

DO you think parking on the pavement is a nuisance or a necessity? Let us know by emailing editor@saffronwalden-reporter.co.uk

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