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Author Topic: Obstruction of a Highway  (Read 10835 times)
Excali
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« on: June 08, 2006, 08:13:27 AM »

Does anyone have any ideas as to what laws, if any are being broken for the following situation.

A person is leaving a wheelbarrow full of garden waste outside his property on a road in order to stop others parking their.  The road in question has no waiting restrictions, and the wheel barrow does not block the flow of traffic.  

We have had several complaints from residents of this road due to the limited amount of parking and as usual they want the Police to sort it out.
I have tried to find what if any law, that would cover this.  The only reference I can find is to permit or cause an unnecessary obstruction of a highway, but this only refers to cars/trailers, and skips.  No mention of wheel barrows??

If anyone has the answer I would be grateful as my SGT wants me to comtemp him so as to report him for summons.

Many thanks

Wayne  
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Chief
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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2006, 08:43:51 AM »

You could try S137 Highways Act 1980,
wilfull obstruction of the highway, specifically, the item causing the obstruction is not a vehicle.


Section 137 of the Highways Act 1980 (as amended by sections 38 and 46 of the Criminal Justice Act 1982 and the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, Schedule 7) provides an offence of wilful obstruction of the highway.

137(1) An offence is committed if a person, without lawful authority or excuse, in any way wilfully obstructs the free passage along a highway.

NOTES:
(i) In the case of Hirst & Agu v CC West Yorks Police 1986 (when some animal rights supporters were peacefully handing out leaflets) suggested that proof of this offence could be considered in three stages:

* is there an obstruction? Any stopping or slowing of traffic on the highway (more than a trivial hold-up) is an obstruction (traffic could be vehicular, animal or pedestrian in this context).

* is the obstruction "wilful" or deliberate (as opposed to accidental). The activity in which the person is engaged must cause an obstruction, but there is no requirement to show there was an intent to cause an obstruction.

* is the wilful obstruction without lawful excuse? Lawful excuse may be by way of express permission, such as the licensing of charity collections or the observance of directions from a traffic police. However, ANY LAWFUL ACTIVITY CARRIED OUT IN A REASONABLE MANNER MAY AMOUNT TO LAWFUL EXCUSE. The concept of implied lawful excuse may be relevant to political demonstrators provided their protests are reasonably limited in space and time, mere transitory inconvenience to traffic (including pedestrians) may not amount to an offence.

A substantial address to a sizeable crowd on a public highway, which meant that the highway was not completely blocked, but was less convenient and commodious, was unlawful obstruction - Homer v Cadman 1886.

(ii) Obstructions of the highway may also be an offence at common law under public nuisance.


S28 Town Police Clauses Act 1847 makes it an offence to obstruct the street to the distraction, annoyance or danger of residents or passengers.
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Excali
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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2006, 11:01:40 AM »

Thanks for that will be paying my gent a visit armed with this info.

Once again thankyou
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psipswich2000
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2006, 14:37:05 PM »

Without knowing a bit of background, it is difficult to comment. However, has this person been told that they cannot obstruct the road in this way, to stop others parking there...Huh Sometimes, MOP need to be advised that what they are doing is wrong, the law relating to it and the punishment for non compliance. This will resolve many of the problems such as this.

Obviously, there is a chance that this person is one of the small percentage of residents who has been told the same thing over and over again, and who is well aware of the legislation etc!!!! In that case, bring on the summons!!!  :lol:
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2006, 14:49:09 PM »

I noticed only yesterday someone has put two upturned large plastic containers (like flower planters) in the space outside their house.

I felt like moving them and parking there just to be awkward, but it was in a street 1/2 mile from my house and I had no need to park in that street.
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hangman
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2006, 19:22:48 PM »

Where I used to work people used to put road cones outside their house to stop people parking. I used to drive round in the van and collect them all.

There is an offence under the road traffic act of endangering a road user. This can be any road user including padestrians. If you think it could possibly be dangerous to somebody then offence complete.

H
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sparky
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2006, 21:03:32 PM »

you could always get someone to nick his wheelbarrow ?
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