PUBLISHED: 11:14 29 May 2008 | UPDATED: 13:18 06 May 2010
SIR, — I am writing to raise the long-running issue of the continual use of the pavement in Watson s Walk, St Albans, as parking for both customers and delivery drivers for the take away restaurants in London Road. For years as residents of that end of th
SIR, - I am writing to raise the long-running issue of the continual use of the pavement in Watson's Walk, St Albans, as parking for both customers and delivery drivers for the take away restaurants in London Road. For years as residents of that end of the street we have had to endure this anti-social and dangerous practice with very little help from the relevant authorities. It is indeed a miracle that no major accident has occurred while these drivers occupy the pavement as buses are obstructed in peak periods as traffic waits by Watson's Walk's lights. Their actions make the use of the pathway for the disabled and for mothers with pushchairs precarious and dangerous. Many times I have seen mothers have to push their buggies into the traffic to get past their selfish parking.
I have taken up the issue with Herts Highways and the degraded condition of the pavement which is steadily being eroded by their activities. I suggested that they should extend the line of bollards down from the London Road corner, however they maintained that the pavement should be a minimum of 1500mm wide to allow bollards even though there is one adjacent to the Chinese takeaway with only 800mm clearance. Their action on the degraded state of the pavement was promised as long ago as March 2007. However we still await the improvement.
Several years ago, having been threatened by a young delivery driver, I raised the issue with the police as I know previous councillors have done, to no avail. Only a fortnight ago a marked police car was perched on the pavement - perhaps, I thought, to deal with two vehicles parked in a similar fashion. However an officer soon emerged with his meal!
Sporadically the traffic wardens ticket an obstructive motor. However this seems very hit and miss.
It might be that our last course of action might be to the Health and Safety Executive on what must be an unsafe working practice. I work in the construction industry where we must provide method statements and risk assessments for planned activities, especially involving members of the public.
When establishing these restaurants and their delivery services, it seems laughable that their plan for their drivers' parking would be to have them use the pavement or Marlborough Motors entrance. The latter is now fast becoming unavailable to them as the new development is nearing completion. I am sure the new occupants of this new estate will be less than happy as they have to manoeuvre among the customers and delivery drivers doing U-turns in the traffic or parked across their entrance.
In all the years of this problem it is the single lack of enforcement by any of the authorities that has been most frustrating. All seem completely unwilling to act and eagerly look to pass the issue on to another body.
Will it take an accident before something is done, for that accident is surely waiting to happen?
Watsons Walk, St Albans.