Sorry, but I'm afraid you cannot stop someone parking outside your home
PUBLISHED: 21:01 15 August 2019 | UPDATED: 21:01 15 August 2019
Frustrated homeowners in our coastal towns are dogged by day trippers parking outside their houses. But as Nick Conrad investigates, there isn't much they can do about it
What is rarer than hen's teeth? A parking space on a sunny day in Sheringham! Hunt as you might, the limited seaside parking spaces are snapped up by early risers and the local residential streets are jammed with everyone else.
I really do understand the frustration of returning to your property to find someone has parked outside your front door. Spare a thought for the residents whose houses line the narrow streets around the Sheringham seafront. St Nicholas Place is a good example. It's narrow, but still allows parking on both sides of the street. Those who live there complain that their drives are impeded and, often, they are blocked in. Some are claiming it is impossible to turn out of the drive without hitting the parked car opposite. But are some residents going too far to ensure that space is always available?
What I witnessed, last weekend in north Norfolk, indicates that locals have had enough. Irked residents appear to be running their own traffic policy. On Sunday I counted four houses where (one presumes) the owners have employed the services of parking cones to ensure the roadway stays clear. Although I sympathise, I'd gently warn residents that they can't bend the rules to suit their own ends.
A simple internet search reveals the lengths that people are going to, to mark their territory. Wheelie bins, traffic cones, and signs have all been used at one time or another to reserve a parking spot! But beware council officials are becoming proactive and warning residents of the rules.
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Outside my son's nursery there is a serial offender. I have frequently and politely asked this individual to remove the cones as parents jostled for parking spaces.
She was adamant it was her right to reserve the area directly in front of her property. My challenge fell on deaf ears. Confidently she informed me that homeowners are 'fed up with people using their road.' Though that might be the case, her array of badly-positioned cones actually makes the traffic situation more hazardous as cars can't pull in to let traffic moving in the opposite direction pass. Attempting to restore civility, I recommended she investigate whether the local authority would support an application for permit parking...her responses I couldn't write in a family newspaper.
Maybe the local authority needs to visit these areas to hear concerns of residents.
The bad news for people who live in town centres, where parking is often at a premium, is that unless someone is blocking your driveway - or their wheel is over the dropped kerb to your house - they are not doing anything wrong.
The police are keen to remind people that it's not 'your right' to park in front of your house - unless you have a designated parking space. Unless your street is governed by residents' parking permits, any member of the public can park in your street - as long as they are complying with restrictions, and not causing obstructions.
In other words, you might be king of the castle, but you don't own the land around it!