Car parking law could be waste of time

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In researching traffic law, which I accept has changed a little since my retirement from my career as a law enforcement officer, I am concerned about that portion of the Highways plan for park and ride relating to Sandsend Road, Sandsend.

The A174 road from Love Lane to Dunsley Lane (Raven Hill) junction is still a clearway. The clearway signs along the A174 are clearly displayed. The legislation designating a road as a clearway creates an offence of stopping on the road.

Having questioned 20 plus motorists about those signs I can report that 19 were not aware that signs were there nor what the signs meant.

The portion of the A174, proposed as pay and display road, has for some time been used for 80 or 90 cars parking each bank holiday or sunny day, really a contravention of the clearways legislation, but ignored.

I submit that to charge a fee to park on the portion concerned, when they have to really commit a clearway offence in order to stop to pay the fee in contravention of the signs displayed, is a little strange.

I had introduced this fact into the initial early report of the plans and on one occasion a member of Highways telephoned me from Northallerton to advise me that the area concerned is a lay by. Nonsense - it is the A174 road. A lay by is part of the road and all traffic law applies.

Definition of road in any of the many Road Traffic Acts and Regulations made thereunder is quite clear and also the subject to prove in all road traffic prosecutions.

It would be true to say that the plan could go ahead legally if the clearways legislation was amended to terminate at a point on the road at the eastern extremity of the portion of park and ride.

It is clear that such an amendment cannot be made simply by Highways taking away or removing the clearway signs; or perhaps just ignoring them; or revoking legislation without the correct procedure.

I agree that the visiting motorists should pay to visit and park in our area if enforced correctly. We always readily pay to park, if required by law or local order, wherever we go on holiday.

I have some further concerns for the local visitors from Whitby and district arriving to park on this Sandsend road area, currently free, whilst walking their dogs. They will become aware that they will be paying even for a quick visit dog walking?

It is also a fact that the motorists, who will take the chance on damaging his vehicle by readily mounting the rough muddy grass verge on the opposite side of the road to park, does not commit an offence.

To charge for parking on a road where it is an offence to stop could result in legal battle if an individual opposes any fine through the courts. What a misuse of finance it would be if such a court upheld the argument that use of a clearway to charge for parking was wrong. It must cost to have installed parking meters that could not be used?

There is a feeling amongst some residents of Sandsend that we already have plenty of objections to the visitor parking and lacking enforcement. These intended restrictions on parking will only increase the problems at East Row and Sandsend.

It has always been true that any regulations at law are a waste of time if they cannot be enforced. Still true.

Dennis Hodgson

Lythe Bank, Sandsend