The Van Diaries 2: Royal Pain


Just show the problem of useless parking enforcement leading to van owners abusing our streets is not limited to Brockley Cross, Coulgate Street and the surrounding area, here's a van that is regularly parked right on the pavement on Upper Brockley Road on weekday afternoons, right next door to Myatt Primary School, so all the parents, kids and buggies are forced on to the road to walk around it as they come out of class.

The driver has been doing this for at least a year, presumably in full confidence that no parking attendant is ever going to do anything about it.

It is another clear illustration that the Council needs to re-think its approach to the parking enforcement contracts it awards. Instead of the private contractors being able to keep a proportion of the revenue raised from issuing tickets, performance is evaluated based on the number of complaints the Council receives about parking problems. But since most people wearily shrug their shoulders, rather than complain, there is little incentive for the contractors to do their jobs properly.

67 comments:

max said...

Coudn't agree more on the perversity of the current arrangement for performance-related payment to contractors.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

I used to regularly encounter Vans and Cars on this stretch when visitng the Wickham Arms for their now defunct Tuesday night quiz.

I concocted a scheme to take along a pair of dirty boots and place false footprints on the bonnet and roof to give the impression that someone had walked over the vehicle in question rather then deviate off the pavment.

Never went through with it unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

How annoying that I got a parking ticket a little further up the road for having one wheel on the pavement due to my poor parking skills

mk said...
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Kate said...

This pic is taken with the van right outside my house. Belongs to the man who lives opposite. Totally annoying as it's impossible to get the buggy out of the gate sometimes and you have to go in the road to walk round it. very iresponsible and inconsiderate! Sometimes he parks in such a way he blocks the gate so we can't get out. Irritating would be an understatement. Just wish the council would send wardens up and ticket it - or put bollards up like they do outside the school further up so people can't park on the pavement. We've been asking for years but the council won't do it

Reg said...

That is shocking... the council must act before a child is injured.

Paddyom said...
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running nutter said...

Just call the police. They'll come along and put a ticket on it.

Ed said...

I don't imagine the police would come. People have come to think nothing of parking on Brockley's pavements. Whilst some advocate vandalism as a response I hope that this year LC get ontop of the transport issues in the area and introduce CPZ and send wardens. If that fails...

Anonymous said...

I too live on this terrace and at one time there was periodic ticketing of transgressors but I've not seen anything since 2009! I know not long after moving there someone parked on the pavement at the end of a school day, as a young pupil got hit when someone opened their car door, presumably without looking what they were doing. When the pub has a big event on then people park there with impugnity. They don't care if they block garden gates thus either preventing access or severely prohibiting access to the houses. How do they know that the occupant(s) have young children requiring buggy access or the person is disabled and needs room to get by? No one seems to care, it's just sheer ignorance!

Anonymous said...
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Brockley Van Driver said...

Parking on the pavement regularly is obviously an annoyance for residents. However, as a Brockley van driver myself I'd like to point out a few things about the parking of vans in general.

Often vans are parked outside properties while unloading takes place. If there is no parking available parking on the curb can be the only option. I'm sure readers on here will remember moving house themselves, and the idea of parking the van 100 yards down the road and unloading from there is simply ridiculous.

I'm not defending the repeat offender in this photograph, but I wish that BC readers won't immediately get van rage when they see a van parked in an unusual way. Think about if it was your possessions that were being unloaded.

Brockley Nick said...

That's a reasonable point to make.

It's not a question of complaining about van drivers loading and unloading.

The problem is with vans being parked anti-socially when they are not in use.

I think people appreciate the difference.

wendy said...

I didn't have you down as a fan of the Princess Diaries nick

knit nurse said...

My mum puts big notes on the windscreen of vehicles like this, saying 'pavements are for people'!. Having said that she doesn't live in London - it would be a full-time job if she did!

thisisengland said...

Parking on the pavement, even one wheel, is an offence in Lewisham Boro.

Just call the police, they come round more or less instantly and give it a £60 ticket. I know I did it on Christmas Eve, while I was talking to the police operator they pulled up outside.

Anonymous said...

I think there scared to go down that part of Upper Brockley Road.

Brockley Jon said...

This has to be one of my favourite little stupid bits of road / pavement in the local area. Looks a bit like part of the road, no real raised kerb as such (it's really low), wider than your average pavement but then not quite wide enough to comfortably park a car on! If we want people to stop parking on it, why don't we get the council to put some signs up saying "No parking"? That and a proper raised kerb and that'll be problem gone.

Anonymous said...

I frequently use this road and couldn't agree more with Kate on the problem it has caused. There were other cars often parked on the same pavement too. I think residents should team up to report antisocial behaviours of this kind.

Kate said...

Hilariously we called the police, they said it was a council matter, the council said it was for the police - you can't win. This van driver is pretty much always there. Last year he had an audi tt the year before that it was something else. What's also irritating is the "thing" across the road shrouded in tarpaulin whcih could be a motorbike or just a pile of bricks! DVLA was alerted but seen no sign of them!

Kate said...

residents did complain to the council and the SNT boys in blue about the pavement - they seemed uninterested and said they wouldn't be adding to the street clutter or signage by putting no parking signs up or bollards to stop people parking there. And no wardens on the beat either.

Anonymous said...

Well he's gone from an Audi tt to a tatty old white van,so maybe next year a push bike.

thisisengland said...

@Kate: Tell the police, call the central general number not the local team. Tell them its causing an obstruction, thats an offence. Tell them you can't get your child out in its buggy. Tell them you think a breach of the peace might occur if nothings done.

Brockley Nick said...

Which is fine, but it's not an ideal solution for residents to have to pester the police (possibly many times over) before one offence gets dealt with. There needs to be a general culture change in Brockley, so that people realise they can't just carry on abusing the roads.

That can only really be brought about through proper enforcement. It could also be a revenue-generating activity for a strapped Council.

Kate said...

given the cash-strapped nature of the council I don't understand why they don't have more wardens patrolling - there are SO many cars/vans with no or out of date tax discs etc or parked illegally. And I did actually call Lewisham police once and they looked at the audi and said it was a council matter and they couldn't do more than ask him to move it. Sigh

thisisengland said...

Kate: call the police, you're not pestering them you're talking to an operator at their control centre, and not the 999 operator. Its their job.
Tell them its causing an obstruction and is a fire hazard.

The middle classes have come over all queasy about whether they're bothering the police by calling them, not wanting to make a fuss etc. This is you say an on-going continuous problem, one ticket would stop it and no one would be pestering the police.

Brockley Nick said...

Bottom line: it's the Council's job. The police ought to be left alone to fight crime.

thisisengland said...

The police were more than happy to ticket the car obstructing my house. What's it got to do with the council?
The pavement is a public highway.
Don't call the local team, call the central number.

Ed said...

Nick, I have a decent pic from yesterday and one of the BMW that stops on the zigzags next to the zebra drives up the (unlowered) pavement and parks almost every day (zigzags and licence plate visible).

Anonymous said...

What happened to those advert with the old lady pushing the car off the pavement,wasnt they supposed to warn drivers not to park on the pavement.That didn't last long did it.

Brockley Nick said...

Despite this government's avowed commitment to "nudge", public information campaigns like that are now thought of by ministers as wasteful nonsense, even if it saves public money with the police having to deal with thisisengland's irate phone calls.

Monkeyboy said...

We need Supergran...

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3399068/Hero-Swoopergran-who-shamed-Britain.html

Anonymous said...

There is a council number you can call to report parking violations, its the same one you call to pay your parking fine, but you press 3 instead of 2 or something.

thisisengland said...

You heard it hear first: I waste public money by calling the police to report an offence.

I suppose if I'd wasted my time by calling the council I wouldn't have wasted public money?

Kate said...

talking of cars blocking the roads and pavements, just had three cop cars and van pile up outside...

Headhunter said...

Talking of out of date tax discs, I noticed a car on Breakspears Rd had been clamped last week with a dirty great sticker across the window telling the owner not to move the car as his tax disc was out of date etc etc, so clearly the council do send people round occasionally

thisisengland said...

I'm not sure its the council that clamp untaxed cars, I think its the DVLA working with a private contractor.

Ed said...

Wardens blitzed the tea factory pavement a while back and it worked except for the odd van and the BMW that another resident has told me he is entitled to park outside despite my explanation of the legal rights in relation to the freehold property boundary.

Some people... ;)

Brockley Nick said...

@Tie - oh please don't be offended, my point was that prevention is cheaper than a cure. Persuade people not to illegally park in the first place and it's cheaper than dealing with complaints and sending out police cars.

cut the crap said...

@thisisengland, you also seem to waste a lot of time on here creating straw men arguments.

Matt-Z said...

What are the regulations around caravans? There are a growing number that seem to be kept permanently on the streets of Brockley. I thought caravans must be attached to the towing vehicle at all times when on the street, but if that's the rule it's being flouted all over SE4.

Brockley Ben said...

I can confirm from personal experience that the clamping (and removal) of untaxed cars is not a council thing.

(It's a long story but the upshot is I won't, in future, be buying cars advertised with hand-written notes in the window, however much I like the look of them. Alas the car is no more, but it lives on on Google Streetview .)

thisisengland said...

@cut the crap: au contraire, others seem to be determined to misrepresent what I've said. The empirical data would suggest we're all wasting time here, aren't we? But I'm happy to be your Aunt Sally.

Brockley Dogging Society said...

Thisisengland: "I'm happy to be your Aunt Sally"

Hilly Fields toilet block, 30 mins?

Bandit said...

Just put a load of sugar in the petrol tank or chuck a potato up the exhaust, works everytime...

Anonymous said...

If by "every time" you mean "not at all", then that's true. Sugar doesn't dissolve in petrol and the potato would simply pop off.

AnonOne said...

If the Council goes on the number of complaints to judge the effectiveness of parking enforcement, then we need to complain more. An equivalent app to LoveLewisham would help (I appreciate not a complete solution). Any budding app developers out there? If it was part of a BC app, I'd even part with some cash for it.

Steve Jobs said...

...announcing iMung

Robert said...

I am also a parent of a child at Myatt, and would agree that the position of this van on the pavement is at best a nuisance and at worst very dangerous.

However, I would also like to point out that the worse offenders for blocking this pavement during key times of the day (school drop-off and pick-up) are other parents. There are often two or three cars banked up here.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post! Since I moved into the area, I've noticed a rather wild weat attitude towards parking: parking in front of school gates, parking on the pavement in front of shops (eg. hairdresser's on Gladiator Street and on Brockley Road, Crofton Park), traffic cones or bins being permanently used to reserve parking spaces (eg. Chudleigh Road), etc.

Anonymous said...

I would encourage you to contact the Council and tell them that of this repeat problem. While you're at it, perhaps mention the never-ending double parking at the end of Upper Brockley Road by Lewisham Way... I am close to giving up.

I did not realise you can call the police to report parking offences!

save-hornimans said...

if the road is less than 22ft accross you can park with two wheels on the pavement,

Danja said...

^false.

It sounded like nonsense so I checked. Its not true anywhere (obstruction of highway) but it's certainly not the case in London where there is a specific offence:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukla/1974/24/section/15

t said...

You should all email your local councillors and tell them you won't vote for them unless they do something about the lack of parking enforcement. You'll find their email addresses on the Lewisham Council website. Otherwise, your words are empty and meaningless.

Anonymous said...

Dont even have to put sugar in the tank,just sprinkle some sugar on the ground around where the petrol cap is and leave the empty bag there,they will think sugar has been put in there tank.

Anonymous said...

Dont even have to put sugar in the tank,just sprinkle some sugar on the ground around where the petrol cap is and leave the empty bag there,they will think sugar has been put in there tank.

Anonymous said...

Or they'll think some one has dropped some sugar.

Oh the injustice... said...

My wife came back with a parking ticket after 10 minutes on a single yellow outside Waldron health centre, yet cars spend hours on double yellows in our road in brockley with no problem. Maybe a cpz would get some inspectors to check up on things a bit more generally? Don't know if that end of ubr would be cpz though.

hardlianotion said...

The van is small enough and annoying enough people. Get a posse and move it off the pavement.

patrick1971 said...

Very interested in this "no parking on the pavement" rule. I live on Manwood Road and cars on both sides always park with two wheels on the pavement. Is this illegal? Everyone does it and it just seems to be the accepted way to park.

Anonymous said...

Cant see a problem with that unless its obstructing the pavement.

Danja said...

Read the link above, it's an offence. Whether anyone is going to enforce it is a different question, which is the point of the thread.

Anonymous said...

In some areas there are signs showing you can put 2 wheels on the kerb.

Anonymous said...

No time to read the full thread. Surely this is EXACTLY the sort of issue that local councillors sort out?
Secondly, why on earth is the council not going down a revenue raising model for parking offences? It is constantly complaining about lack of revenue....

Anonymous said...

It is a police matter the van is blocking the Queen's passage or her highway.

In answer to a question about motorcycles but equally cars parking on pavements...

Hansard 23 April 2003

Hilary Benn: Driving on the pavement contrary to Section 72 of the highways Act 1835 as amended became a fixed penalty offence on 1 August 1999.

The offence applies to all driving on the pavement including by off-road motorcycles and no special review of the use of the measure has been undertaken.

Driving on the pavement is recognised as a problem in some areas and one that presents a hazard to pedestrians.

The fixed penalty provides an additional means of dealing with it.

With effect from January 2003 the police may also use powers under the Police Reform Act to seize off-road motorcycles driven illegally on the footway in a manner that causes alarm, distress or annoyance.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know whethet New Cross and Brockley Parishes could ask to be part once again of Greenwich Council rather than Lewisham?

Just fed up with Lewisham Hopeless Council attitude from the 70s.

Actually perhaps, it would be easier to move to Greenwich.

damesouris said...

I called the council parking enforcement people on Wednesday after being nearly forced off my bike into the back end of a D&M van sticking out from Coulgate street into Brockley Road. The counsil voice message ( which gives you only a tiny amount of time to leave a message) promises a response within 24 hrs which needless to say didn't happene. I also spoke to someone at the highways department ; he osunded very fed up and said he had just had a call from someone at Ace vans about parking. He was very clear; the vans can park if they are no bigger than a certain size anywhere on the road as long as there is an office that the traders work from, they are taxed and they conform to the parking restrictions ( yellow lines etc) If they infronge those it is up to 'enforcement' to do something. I think getting the local councillors to do something is probably the best option or to bring it up at a Ward assembly? The council are daft anyway, they could rake it in with parking fines if they wanted

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