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Residents in the Hulme area of Manchester blocked seven streets with their wheelie bins in protest at drivers parking on the pavements. They left their bins out overnight to block drivers the following morning. Some drivers found alternative places to park, but some moved the bins out of the way and continued to park on the pavement.
The problem has arisen because drivers have been parking their cars in residential streets to avoid parking charges in the city centre. Builders working on a development nearby have also been parking their work vans in the area, which has added to the problem.
Residents say that parents pushing buggies and people in wheelchairs and disability scooters are forced to go on to the road to get past the parked cars. They are also angry that because the vehicles are on the pavements, that bin lorries and emergency vehicles can’t get access to their properties. Further wheelie bin protests are being planned next week.
Manchester council were planning to introduce a residents’ parking permit scheme but it did not materialise. Residents are now campaigning for a scheme to be introduced, before someone is seriously injured or worse.
The council have now responded by saying that it plans to develop a set of parking policies aimed at discouraging commuters and non-residents from parking in residential areas. It added that they’ve been meeting residents regularly to discuss the issues caused by commuter parking and that plans are in motion to introduce a parking permit scheme.
The Department for Transport said earlier this year that it’s considering rolling out a nationwide ban on pavement parking. Parking on pavements is not currently illegal in the UK outside of London. But as per the Highway Code, drivers can still face penalties for parking on the pavement if it causes problems for blind people, parents with pushchairs and wheelchair users. If the Department for Transport introduces the new legislation, there could be a £70 fine for parking on the pavement.