Residents 'fed up' of drivers parking on pavements in Batley town centre

Pavement parking has become a “trend” and an accepted part of Batley town centre’s night-time economy, as our exclusive pictures show.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 7:00 am
Cars parked on the pavement in Batley town centre

A growth in the number of food businesses and takeaways on Commercial Street has led to more drivers parking on the pavements.

While some are customers picking up their food orders, many seem to be takeaway delivery drivers who will drive 20 yards down the pavement to park right outside the door.

Pavement parking has become a major issue in Batley town centre - and it’s not just after hours, it’s during the daytime too.

Cars parked on the pavement in Batley town centre

Last month the Batley News reported how Nigel Harnell, one of the founders of the road safety action group Reclaim Our Area’s Roads (ROAR), confronted a driver who drove past him down the pavement and parked up outside a food outlet.

In the Facebook Live video the takeaway driver told Mr Harnell it had become a “trend” to drive down the pavement and park outside shops on a night.

Mr Harnell said people’s safety was a big concern, as was damage caused to pavements which would eventually need costly repairs paid for by council taxpayers.

The Batley News was also copied into an email to Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater, Kirklees Council leader and Batley West councillor Shabir Pandor and others from one exasperated local resident.

Cars parked on the pavement in Batley town centre

In the letter he wrote that he was “fed up, annoyed and saddened at the illegal, nuisance parking that is going on in Batley”.

He attached photographs of a car parked fully on the pavement, adjacent to double yellow lines, outside Hardys burger house on the corner of Commercial Street and Branch Road at 4.30pm one afternoon.

The resident, who asked not to be named, said: “Drivers are routinely flouting parking regulations on a daily basis and it is getting worse as there appears to be very little or no deterrent.”

The man said he had received replies from Ms Leadbeater’s office and Coun Pandor saying they were “fully aware” of the problem and were working to find a solution.

Coun Gwen Lowe (Lab, Batley West) told the Batley News that thoughtless parking really annoyed her and said it showed a lack of respect for other people. She urged people to report examples of nuisance parking to the authorities.

In a statement Coun Naheed Mather, cabinet member for environment at Kirklees Council, said: “Kirklees Council’s highway safety officers are aware of the recent complaints regarding parking in Batley town centre.

“If parking restrictions such as double yellow lines are present, this is enforceable by the council.

“Where restrictions don’t exist and vehicles are parked on a footway, the police are required to attend to determine if the vehicle is causing an obstruction and whether to act, as the council does not have the necessary obstruction enforcement powers.

“Pavement parking is not illegal unless you are in London, however you can be fined for parking on a footway if you cause an obstruction to users or are parked behind restrictions at the kerb edge.

"The council is working with colleagues in the parking team and police to address the concerns raised.”