Not in my FRONT yard: Hinckley residents oppose cycle path... because it may stop them parking on the pavement

Plans for street in Hinckley do include footway parking spaces, but locals are worried there won't be enough to go around

by Simon_MacMichael   March 24, 2014  

Netherley Road, Hinckley (picture Google Street View)

Residents of a street in a Leicestershire town are opposing council plans to introduce a shared use footway and cycleway – because they are worried it would prevent them from parking on the pavement.

The Leicester Mercury says that more than 100 residents of Netherley Road in Hinckley have signed a petition to oppose the facility, and that they were due to meet with council officials last Friday to discuss the situation.

The petition was organised by Ann Pendlebury, who said: “People have parked this way for a long time and, with my partner, Dale, working in Cadeby and me commuting 25 miles, we need a car each and don't have a drive.

"If they put the cycle lane in, we'll be competing for a smaller number of spaces.

"It's an old-fashioned road where the elderly are looked after and everyone talks or at least nods to each other.

"This will result in the breakdown of this community.

"I also think it would lead to people getting rid of their front gardens to create drives.

"That's going to increase the likelihood of flooding, which is already an issue for some."

The picture accompanying the Leicester Mercury’s article shows cars parked on driveways outside a number of houses on the street, but none on the pavement. Google Street View shows a few cars on the footway, but most parked up on forecourts outside houses.

Rule 244 of the Highway Code says:

You MUST NOT park partially or wholly on the pavement in London, and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it. Parking on the pavement can obstruct and seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and people with prams or pushchairs.

Plans on Leicestershire County Council’s website show that pavement parking is part of the proposal for Netherley Road.

The council says that among other things, the project will result in:

creating shared use footways/ cycleways on existing footways, where necessary widening footways within the highway boundary

introducing partial footway parking on Netherley Road to identify areas where parking can take place to prevent obstruction from parked vehicles.

This plan highlights the position of the proposed parking bays, and there will be signs at either end of the road that read: “Vehicles may be marked partially on the verge and footway in marked bays” and “End of area where vehicles may be parked partially on the verge or footway.”

Peter Osborne, Leicestershire County Council’s spokesman for transport, told the Leicester Mercury: "We welcome comments from the residents of Netherley Road as we are really keen to hear all views on the proposed traffic improvement scheme for Hinckley.

"We recognise changes can be made to improve congestion and traffic-flow in Hinckley and make access easier for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike.

"This should, in turn, help boost the town centre, encourage further investment and make it easier for people to cycle, walk and use public transport."

Consultation on the plans closes on Thursday 27 March.

48 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

bikebot wrote:
Neil753 wrote:
so the parking space required per house is increasing all the time

It would be interesting to know if that's actually true at a national level. I'm pretty certain London has actually seen that trend reverse slightly. Private car ownership appears to be in decline amongst the young here because it's simply so expensive once you factor in insurance costs.

Most new housing in London is usually required to have fewer parking spaces than residents. My own borough seems to be fixated with installing as many sheffield stands for bikes as it possibly can, even though you would be insane to use them after dark. Anytime I see a bike left at one overnight, it's stripped of parts by the morning.

Now I come to think of it, I have seen the figures out there somewhere on the web - I recall they show car-ownership has increased hugely in most of the country, with a particularly marked increase in multi-car households (I think if anything its even more about people with cars getting more of them than about non-car owners getting cars). But inner London is the massive exception, as there car ownership has significantly declined.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [730 posts]
24th March 2014 - 15:11

14 Likes

FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
pmanc wrote:
Neil753 wrote:
...the parking space required per house is increasing all the time...

But that's the problem, this isn't sustainable. The requirement eats into the safe public space which would have previously been available for walking and playing. And still people behave as if the world owes them as much parking space as they feel they need.

But how can the trend be reversed?

Tax the fuck out of private cars and invest the money in public transport. Obviously, on an individual level people are too thick to figure it out for themselves, already feel oppressed by the government and "ecologists", so you don't lose any popularity points for implementing what they already believe to be the case. They won't thank anyone for it, but they whinge about everything anyway.

posted by Ush [420 posts]
24th March 2014 - 15:26

23 Likes

FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

Now I come to think of it, I have seen the figures out there somewhere on the web - I recall they show car-ownership has increased hugely in most of the country, with a particularly marked increase in multi-car households (I think if anything its even more about people with cars getting more of them than about non-car owners getting cars). But inner London is the massive exception, as there car ownership has significantly declined.

That does make sense, I'll have to look into this sometime. Of course most of us are part of the problem as well when it comes to parking. Car ownership is just as higher or even higher amongst cyclists. I may not take part in the insane pastime of clogging up the centre of London with my car, but I still need to park the thing somewhere when I'm not using it (I have a private off road space, but just making a point).

posted by bikebot [723 posts]
24th March 2014 - 15:35

14 Likes

FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
Saratoga wrote:
"I also think it would lead to people getting rid of their front gardens to create drives."
Well we can't have people parking their cars on their own property can we...

I believe the problem with that is, when everyone does it, it greatly increases water run-off and so increases problems with the drains being overwhelmed, hence increasing flooding risk. Or so I have read.

Surely this is a solvable problem? You don't have to pave the whole garden, just two strips for the wheels. Rest can be grass, trees and bushes at the edges to soak up water.

posted by HKCambridge [161 posts]
24th March 2014 - 15:46

17 Likes

bikebot wrote:
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

Now I come to think of it, I have seen the figures out there somewhere on the web - I recall they show car-ownership has increased hugely in most of the country, with a particularly marked increase in multi-car households (I think if anything its even more about people with cars getting more of them than about non-car owners getting cars). But inner London is the massive exception, as there car ownership has significantly declined.

That does make sense, I'll have to look into this sometime. Of course most of us are part of the problem as well when it comes to parking. Car ownership is just as higher or even higher amongst cyclists. I may not take part in the insane pastime of clogging up the centre of London with my car, but I still need to park the thing somewhere when I'm not using it (I have a private off road space, but just making a point).

And having a private off-road space should become the norm. Nothing else I might purchase would I expect to do so without somewhere to store it.

The only positive for it being cyclists who own a car is that they might be less inclined to insist it is outside the front door if they don't use it everyday.

On shared houses, I don't think that does automatically lead to multiple car household. Every shared house I've lived in has been car-free. Young people are less likely to own cars, as are those on lower incomes, and both are reasons to share housing.

posted by HKCambridge [161 posts]
24th March 2014 - 16:07

19 Likes

Why would anyone need to pave over a whole front garden?

As mentioned above, only two strips needed of supportive material, and it can be permeable lattice blocks, which let the grass grow through. Like these (many other variants are available):

http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/product/turfstone-paving-stones/ri-la...

Was in Duesseldorf a number of years ago, the massive parking lot outside of the convention centre used these.

posted by jacknorell [510 posts]
24th March 2014 - 16:10

14 Likes

The average mileage per car is falling, but the average number of cars per household is increasing, because the number of homes being built is failing to keep pace with population. If you add multiple occupancy to the trend for developers to build without parking provision if they can get away with it, plus councils' efforts to restrict parking places for new commercial developments, you can see why this problem isn't going to go away.

The crying shame is that we could create safe networks virtually overnight, not just in town but nationally too, with the use of bollards and some 20mph signs, on residential streets and carefully chosen minor roads linking communities.

If we want real change, within the cost restrictions that every local authoritiy inevitably faces, then we have to stop campaigning for a few cycleways like the one proposed in one street in Hinkley, that ultimately provide very little social cohesion, through a collective failure to look at the bigger picture. If we can do this, then there would be plenty of room for parked cars, on routes that are safe for cycling.

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

Neil753's picture

posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
24th March 2014 - 16:42

25 Likes

Quote:
It's an old-fashioned road where the elderly are looked after and everyone talks or at least nods to each other.

Except for anyone who uses a pushchair, or a wheelchair, presumably... Rolling Eyes

I don't really understand this - whatever other arguments are used, the locals have admitted to mass law breaking. Why doesn't the council just send down a traffic warden? I bet the fees for illegal parking would pay for any changes the council is proposing to make along there..

posted by brooksby [195 posts]
24th March 2014 - 16:50

20 Likes

HKCambridge wrote:
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
Saratoga wrote:
"I also think it would lead to people getting rid of their front gardens to create drives."
Well we can't have people parking their cars on their own property can we...

I believe the problem with that is, when everyone does it, it greatly increases water run-off and so increases problems with the drains being overwhelmed, hence increasing flooding risk. Or so I have read.

Surely this is a solvable problem? You don't have to pave the whole garden, just two strips for the wheels. Rest can be grass, trees and bushes at the edges to soak up water.

Yeah, not sure what the planning laws say about this, but does seem as if it wouldn't be rocket-science for them to say you can convert your front garden as long as you leave X % of surface uncovered. Just from what I see around here though that's not how people currently do it. Also there's the issue of having to drive over the footway to get in and out.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [730 posts]
24th March 2014 - 16:54

11 Likes

Neil753 wrote:
We've all got to understand that many young adults share houses with parents, or share houses with their peers, so the parking space required per house is increasing all the time, so we shouldn't dismiss these residents' concerns.

Five adults, all working, round ours.

Only two cars between us. Only one of which is ever parked adjacent to our home. If I had my way the number of cars would be reduced to one, max.

Not only should we dismiss their concerns we should be challenging the assumption that to go without a car, and a place to park it, involves resigning one's position in the human race.

Really, though?

posted by workhard [389 posts]
24th March 2014 - 16:57

8 Likes

brooksby wrote:
Quote:
It's an old-fashioned road where the elderly are looked after and everyone talks or at least nods to each other.

Except for anyone who uses a pushchair, or a wheelchair, presumably... Rolling Eyes

I don't really understand this - whatever other arguments are used, the locals have admitted to mass law breaking. Why doesn't the council just send down a traffic warden? I bet the fees for illegal parking would pay for any changes the council is proposing to make along there..

Are they law-breaking? I thought parking on the pavement was only illegal in London and (I think) Bath? Anyone know for sure?

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [730 posts]
24th March 2014 - 17:00

9 Likes

Ush wrote:
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
pmanc wrote:
Neil753 wrote:
...the parking space required per house is increasing all the time...

But that's the problem, this isn't sustainable. The requirement eats into the safe public space which would have previously been available for walking and playing. And still people behave as if the world owes them as much parking space as they feel they need.

But how can the trend be reversed?

Tax the fuck out of private cars and invest the money in public transport. Obviously, on an individual level people are too thick to figure it out for themselves, already feel oppressed by the government and "ecologists", so you don't lose any popularity points for implementing what they already believe to be the case. They won't thank anyone for it, but they whinge about everything anyway.

I'd vote for that but its a question of political will. Somehow the power of the petrolhead-lobby has to be chipped away at. As long as so many people don't see any choice but to drive they will not support anything that seems to make driving harder.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [730 posts]
24th March 2014 - 17:03

13 Likes

FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
Are they law-breaking? I thought parking on the pavement was only illegal in London and (I think) Bath? Anyone know for sure?

Its not illegal to park on the pavement, but it is illegal to drive on the pavement.

If you know a way of getting your car up on there without driving it, then you're OK...

(I suppose it would be legal if you parked up on the road, and got a friend to push you).

posted by brooksby [195 posts]
24th March 2014 - 17:05

15 Likes

I sort of hope that the residents suceed with thier petition. 'Shared Use' paths (otherwise known as 'cyclists may use the pavement') are really bad news. They provide a false sense of security for novice cyclists, are usually unsuitable for more experienced cyclists and reinforce the view held by a sizable minority of drivers that cycles don't have a place on the highway.

As for car parking, every residential building should have a defined limit to the number of vehicles that are allowed to be registered there. Residents could apply to have this limit increased if they make more space by giving up their garden's to build driveways etc. and although it would be open to a certain level of abuse it could make a big difference to the number of cars parked on residential roads.

Neil753 makes good points about the general increase in driver-aged individials per household but as a nation we need to separate ourselves from this idea that car ownership is somehow compulsary. Imagine a married couple living in a average 3 bed semi with their two grown-up kids, both of which have partners who have also moved in. If they have a car each that's 6 cars. Given the lack of parking provision its simply not sustainable.

posted by Matt eaton [451 posts]
24th March 2014 - 17:42

12 Likes

The conversion of pavement to shared use path is the reallocation of roadspace from the most vulnerable users (pedestrians) to the least vulnerable (motor vehicles), where the exact opposite should be happening to create environments safe and relaxing for people.

posted by teaboy [185 posts]
24th March 2014 - 17:48

11 Likes

HKCambridge wrote:
On shared houses, I don't think that does automatically lead to multiple car household. Every shared house I've lived in has been car-free. Young people are less likely to own cars, as are those on lower incomes, and both are reasons to share housing.

London appears to be setting a trend which we'll hopefully see increase and spread to more cities. I know a few people who gave up their private car and just use a car club when they need one, something I may consider myself in a few years when the current set of (four) wheels is retired.

It's interesting to see how attitudes are shifting amongst young people. Twenty years ago a lot of people getting their first job got a scooter as a cheap way to get about. Now I hardly ever see them unless they've got a pizza box on the back, whilst the hipsters riding fixies are everywhere.

posted by bikebot [723 posts]
24th March 2014 - 17:51

8 Likes

Paving over front gardens has very specific guidance but is universally flouted and no Local Authority is likely to enforce it.

http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/commonprojects/pavingfrontga...

Anyone who knocks a front wall down and paves over a garden is worse than Hitler.
In my opinion.
Along with plastic windows is the biggest blight on the urban landscape.

The road in the story looks like a feckin horrible place to live exactly for this reason and the idiots who live there deserve to live on such a horrible car dominated road.

posted by Some Fella [813 posts]
24th March 2014 - 19:24

11 Likes

Good I hate bike paths, there designed by the same half wits that bang on about helmets and whatever.

Make the road safe for cyclist, problem fixed.

posted by IanW1968 [193 posts]
24th March 2014 - 19:36

14 Likes

Perhaps the people living there could do a "Clarkson" and work harder and then buy a house with a drive or a garage

djc1245

posted by djc1245 [22 posts]
24th March 2014 - 19:39

10 Likes

There is a very simple way to make the plan acceptable to the residents. Ticket them remorselessly for a couple of months for pavement parking. Then when they are all screening blue murder suggest the plan to permit pavement parking in conjunction with the shared path. They will be grateful for it then...

I detest pavement parkers with a passion. It the time I wish I had a disintegration ray.

posted by paulrbarnard [140 posts]
24th March 2014 - 21:15

12 Likes

http://bamboobadger.blogspot.co.uk/2008/01/car-parking-ill-just-leave-th...

On road parking is now the norm for so many people - myself included in the last 2 houses I lived in - but it is at the expense of pleasant, liveable spaces. These residents are being gifted a chance to rehumanize their street but you get the impression that they only care about their tonnes of metal & have devised spurious arguments to counter anything that affects their car - love. I may be wrong..

posted by bikerdavecycling [71 posts]
24th March 2014 - 21:45

11 Likes

jacknorell wrote:
Neil753 wrote:
...We've all got to understand that many young adults share houses with parents, or share houses with their peers, so the parking space required per house is increasing all the time...

There's something very wrong with that trend, not that you're wrong.

Fully agree with putting bollards in the middle to stop through-traffic.

it's on a bus route, so they need to be automatic bollards

posted by Paul_C [237 posts]
25th March 2014 - 4:56

6 Likes

Paul_C wrote:
it's on a bus route, so they need to be automatic bollards

Well, those are in common use, so that's a non-issue.

Or, you know, the bus could be re-routed to the nearest larger road?

posted by jacknorell [510 posts]
25th March 2014 - 9:22

9 Likes

brooksby wrote:
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
Are they law-breaking? I thought parking on the pavement was only illegal in London and (I think) Bath? Anyone know for sure?

Its not illegal to park on the pavement, but it is illegal to drive on the pavement.

If you know a way of getting your car up on there without driving it, then you're OK...

(I suppose it would be legal if you parked up on the road, and got a friend to push you).

I guess outside of London (and whatever the one other city was) where its illegal even to be parked on the pavement, the legal system assumes that any car parked on the footway must have been either pushed or picked up and carried there (or maybe dissasembled and reconstructed piece-by-peice in situ). Clearly this in no way makes the legal system look foolish, no sir.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [730 posts]
25th March 2014 - 13:31

6 Likes

Paul_C wrote:
jacknorell wrote:
Neil753 wrote:
...We've all got to understand that many young adults share houses with parents, or share houses with their peers, so the parking space required per house is increasing all the time...

There's something very wrong with that trend, not that you're wrong.

Fully agree with putting bollards in the middle to stop through-traffic.

it's on a bus route, so they need to be automatic bollards

No house, in that whole block of residential streets, is any more than 400 yards from the nearest main road. Much easier to just change the bus route.

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

Neil753's picture

posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
25th March 2014 - 13:54

3 Likes

Neil753 wrote:
Paul_C wrote:
jacknorell wrote:
Neil753 wrote:
...We've all got to understand that many young adults share houses with parents, or share houses with their peers, so the parking space required per house is increasing all the time...

There's something very wrong with that trend, not that you're wrong.

Fully agree with putting bollards in the middle to stop through-traffic.

it's on a bus route, so they need to be automatic bollards

No house, in that whole block of residential streets, is any more than 400 yards from the nearest main road. Much easier to just change the bus route.


Can't be having that. Just think of the destruction it will have on the community in having to walk 400 yards for a bus. After all, the bus route has been there from the dawn of time. I bet you that nobody uses it though, going by the number of cars parked up on the now defunct gardens.

giff77's picture

posted by giff77 [1062 posts]
25th March 2014 - 14:39

6 Likes

I live in Hinckley (a beautiful town, the jewel of the East Midlands Wink ), and have regularly ridden on Netherley Road. There is no way on God's sweet earth that it requires any kind of bike path, let alone the half arsed rubbish of a shared path. It might not look it from the photo, but it's a wide residential road without much traffic. There's a 90 degree bend part way along that keeps traffic speed down. The only possible reason for this plan is so the local council can say "look, we've got x meters more of cycling infrastructure" (even though it's crap and not needed). There are plenty of roads in the town that do need provision for cyclists. All the main routes into town are narrow, busy and intimidating to cyclists. They do however have large areas of grass between the road and the pavement. The solution for these roads would be too put in proper bike lanes by removing some of these verges, but that would cost a lot more than a tin of white paint, so I can't see it happening.

posted by average_joe [6 posts]
25th March 2014 - 18:33

9 Likes

There are permeable products that can be used to surface drives so run off is reduced to the minimum.

Les Ed

posted by Les Ed [44 posts]
26th March 2014 - 7:37

2 Likes

Hi Average Jo. Have you fed that back to the Council? You never know, they might re apportion this money to something more useful if you can identify it for them.

I'm not holding much hope, but you never know!

posted by bikerdavecycling [71 posts]
26th March 2014 - 8:11

1 Like

Now I come to think of it, I have seen the figures out there somewhere on the web - I recall they show car-ownership has increased hugely in most of the country, with a particularly marked increase in multi-car households

While Glasgow where I live still has surprisingly low levels of car ownership, yes, it's gone up remarkably. From 33% of households in 1991 to 55% now. Multi-car houses are around 15%. The worry for the planners is if this growth continues (multi car or not) to match southern England, we'd have 50,000+ more cars on the roads, where would they all go? That's 125 football pitches of parking space right there.

posted by bazzargh [144 posts]
26th March 2014 - 12:54

1 Like