Merton Council is taking enforcement action against residents who illegally park their vehicles on their properties without a dropped kerb.
So far, the council’s enforcement officers have put up bollards on the pavement in front of 15 properties across the borough, blocking access for residents who have been illegally mounting the kerb and driving across the pavement to park on the hardstanding in front of their homes.
The enforcement action follows warning letters from the council to residents asking them to apply to the council for a dropped kerb to be put in, if their property meets the criteria, or to put up a wall or a fence to prevent vehicles from driving across the pavement onto their property.
Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Housing and Transport, Councillor Martin Whelton, said: “It is illegal to drive over a pavement without a dropped kerb and we are taking enforcement action against residents who persist in mounting the kerb and driving across the pavement to park in front of their property, risking the safety of pedestrians and other road users.
“Not only are cars manoeuvring across pavements dangerous for walkers, overhanging vehicles can block the pavement for wheelchair users and parents with pushchairs. Driving over illegal crossovers also damages the kerb and pavement and the council will install bollards to prevent it happening.”
An application for a dropped kerb must meet the criteria set out on the council’s website and may also require planning permission. Applications in controlled parking zones will also be subject to a traffic management order. There must be a certain amount of space to park the vehicle directly in front of the property so that it does not hang over the pavement and can be manoeuvred in and out of the parking space in a single movement. Consideration must also be given to any lamppost or telegraph pole on the pavement, which can usually be relocated for a fee, although permission will be refused to move a tree, unless it is young enough to survive being replanted.
Only the council can put in dropped kerbs and these are constructed to withstand domestic vehicles, usually in tarmac but also using heavy duty paving slabs where required. Standard paving is unsuitable for vehicles to drive over. Residents cover all costs, however, a dropped kerb can add five per cent to the value of a property.