In the photograph, the car is parked inconsiderately; it is blocking a service lane — which is not merely blocking access to rubbish and recycling bins, but also blocking emergency access to electrical, water, sewerage, and gas utilities, and to the fire service.
This may come as a surprise to our regular readers in consideration of all our posts on the subject of parking.
We here at GW see a difference between being considerate and being legal, and we back being considerate in the hope that restrictions get changed, and laws revised where required. It really is just a common sense approach. So it is just a fluke that the car parked in the above picture is both inconsiderate and illegal!
Being considerate is about thinking less about letter of the law, and more about people and health-and-safety.
You’ll know from older posts that I have no problem with cars parked up on the kerb to allow utility and emergency vehicles to use the roads.
In a traffic calmed area, filled with speed cameras, fences, one-ways, speed bumps and zebra crossings, pedestrians can move about a lot more safely than if the traffic was fast and heavy flowing.
That’s the compromise — we have reduced the amount of through traffic, reduced the speed of the traffic, insisted that rubbish be dumped on the pavement, allowed residential hedges to take up a large part of the pavement area, and let people away with dog fouling. This simply means pedestrians have to weave a bit through the obstacles of cars, hedges, dog mess and rubbish.
The alternative would be to allow “proper pedestrian pavement access“, meaning more restrictions and red tape — residential hedges would have to be regulated, dog-fouling enforced (CCTV?), rubbish would have to be dumped in back lanes again, and cars would have to be parked completely on the road — impeding emergency vehicle access, utility vehicles, delivery trucks and vans and so forth.
I think that this is why police and wardens turn a “blind eye” throughout Shawlands, and quite right too!
Let’s face it; the high density of residents in block of flats means that emergency and utility vehicles must have access at all times. The sheer number of resident means that car numbers will be high — and people need to park near their flats (they may be disabled, elderly, infirm or have shopping, babies and toddlers to contend with).
That’s why we can say that the car in the picture is in our opinion parked disgracefully, but that cars parked on pavements and between bollards is OK.