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    • CommentAuthorJohn B
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2010
     
    I've got an "interesting" situation that I can't go into at the moment, and I'm trying to make sense of the rules on visibility splays. The site is located on the edge of a hamlet in a rural area. The site is just inside a 40mph speed limit, and the road beyond is unrestricted. It's an unclassified road that is fairly busy for a rural road. Depending on the location of the potential entrance, there is a blind bend on the brow of a hill 60-150 metres further on in the 40mph limit, where at least one, and I think several, people have been killed. The site is approached on a straight downhill section where the local boy racers, and the more mature!, like to put their foot down, and are often way over the speed limit on the blind bend.

    What I need to know, and haven't been able get clear by Googling, is what the rules are on visibility splays in this situation. I'd like to know for a single house, and also for a new housing estate that could be fitted on 1.5 or more acres. What are the actual rules, and what might be allowed in reality?

    I need to know by Tuesday morning, so don't have time to talk to the local council etc, and I'd also like to have a better understanding before I approach them.
  1.  
    Ring local Highways Monday morning, I am sure they will help straight away.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2010 edited
     
    I believe the rules vary depending on which authority you are in. Typically the test goes like this...

    Stand X meters back from the edge of the highway. Can you see a car Y meters down the road in each direction? The distance X depends on the authority and is typically 2-2.4 meters for a private driveway. The distance Y depends on the traffic speed. This is normally the speed limit but not allways. If you can show that cars are going slower then the limit by doing a traffic survey then you can sometimes get away with reduced distances. I guess the opposite may also apply.

    Google found recommened dimensions here (table 5.1) but speak to the local highways dept...
    http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=20337

    The land under the visibility splay triangle must be free of obstructions (trees, telegraph poles etc). It must either be owned by you or be part of the highway verge. If you dont own the visibility splay you have to treat it like a ransom strip - you can't stop the owner planting a tree in it so PP might be refused unless you control it.
    • CommentAuthorJohn B
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2010
     
    The rules varying by local authority explains why I was having trouble finding some national rules! I might have to phone Highways on Monday, but due to the complicated situation that I can't talk about, I don't know how I'm going to explain what I need to know! I was hoping to find some rules I could work out for myself at this stage.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2010 edited
     
    I'd ask them for the dimensions of visibility splays for a private driveway onto an unclassified road with a speed limit of 40mph and 60mph. The answer will be something like..

    60mph = 2.4m x 215m
    40mph = 2.4m x 150m
    but the long dimension can vary.

    So you will need to be able to see 215 meters in one direction and 150m in the other as per a diagram like this..

    http://www.leics.gov.uk/figure_dg11

    Do your own scale drawing showing the bends etc. Google images has more diagrams, some showing bends...

    http://images.google.co.uk/images?hl=en&cr=countryUK%7CcountryGB&q=visibility%20splays%20%20&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi

    Then ask how the dimensions change if it's an accessinto a small estate rather than a single house.

    Do a scale drawing and if it's tight or you can't quite meet the requirements go back and discuss it with them.

    Don't forget the info might be on their web site.
    • CommentAuthorJohn B
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2010
     
    Posted By: CWattersI'd ask them for the dimensions of visibility splays for a private driveway onto an unclassified road with a speed limit of 40mph and 60mph. The answer will be something like..

    60mph = 2.4m x 215m
    40mph = 2.4m x 150m
    but the long dimension can vary.

    So you will need to be able to see 215 meters in one direction and 150m in the other as per a diagram like this

    That's encouraging, and just what I wanted to hear (I think!). I thought it was 90m at 40mph. The Leicestershire table states 120m if the speed limit is obeyed, and 160m if it's not. I think that's what I need for Tuesday, and I can approach Highways later when I know where this is going.

    Thanks.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2010
     
    Devon CC has this http://www.devon.gov.uk/index/environmentplanning/planning-system/planning_publications/planningform/highwaysdesignguide.htm for residential and commercial estates, incl. estate entrance from various kinds of highway. Doesn't your CC have similar?
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2010
     
    Here in the highlands on a rural road (60mph single lane) it is 190m in both direction from a point 4.5m back from the edge of the road.
    • CommentAuthorJohn B
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2010
     
    Posted By: fostertomDevon CC has thishttp://www.devon.gov.uk/index/environmentplanning/planning-system/planning_publications/planningform/highwaysdesignguide.htm" >http://www.devon.gov.uk/index/environmentplanning/planning-system/planning_publications/planningform/highwaysdesignguide.htmfor residential and commercial estates, incl. estate entrance from various kinds of highway. Doesn't your CC have similar?

    I haven't managed to find anything on the Carmarthenshire web site. What's been said so far suits the argument I need to put on Tuesday. If that goes well I'll contact Highways to get their view.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2010
     
    Might also be worth looking at the highway code stopping distances.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2010
     
    Depending on what you are trying to do you might be interested in..

    "How to get Planning Permission" or "How to stop or influence planning permission" both by Roy Speed at Stonepound books.

    If you're trying to stop a development then be aware that only valid planning reasons will be considered. Find out what a valid reason is. Loss of a view for example isn't nor is "it will devalue my house".
    • CommentAuthorJohn B
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2010
     
    Posted By: CWattersIf you're trying to stop a development then be aware that only valid planning reasons will be considered. Find out what a valid reason is. Loss of a view for example isn't nor is "it will devalue my house".

    It's not that simple. It's about trying to convince someone who owns land that they won't get planning permission on it unless they build an entrance on someone else's land!
    • CommentAuthormartint
    • CommentTimeMay 8th 2013
     
    Sorry for resurrecting an old thread.

    When we bought our current house 10 years ago we experienced this issue when we proposed to demolish and build 2 houses on the plot. In the end we decided to modernise the existing house. However, we now find ourselves in a situation that neighbours are parking on road and pavement outside the house, in a 40mph limit, completely restricting our visibility of approaching traffic, which has led to a few scary situations. (Many cars travel in excess of 40mph) Council and police advise that they are powerless to do anything. Had I gone ahead with the original project I would have spent a considerable amount on 'splays', but still not have been able to do anything. So pointless - even if I own the frontage, I can't stop people parking there.

    Or have I got an argument to make based on these planning rules?
    • CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeMay 8th 2013
     
    Posted By: martintSorry for resurrecting an old thread.

    When we bought our current house 10 years ago we experienced this issue when we proposed to demolish and build 2 houses on the plot. In the end we decided to modernise the existing house. However, we now find ourselves in a situation that neighbours are parking on road and pavement outside the house, in a 40mph limit, completely restricting our visibility of approaching traffic, which has led to a few scary situations. (Many cars travel in excess of 40mph) Council and police advise that they are powerless to do anything. Had I gone ahead with the original project I would have spent a considerable amount on 'splays', but still not have been able to do anything. So pointless - even if I own the frontage, I can't stop people parking there.

    Or have I got an argument to make based on these planning rules?

    Not on the planning rules no. But they can stop parking on pavements. AFAIK, it's not actually illegal to leave a car parked on the pavement. But it is illegal to drive on the pavement in order to do so. Or in order to drive off again. So if you provided the police with some evidence of people driving on the pavement, they might find that hard to ignore. IANAL, so best check with someone who knows more before wasting too much effort.
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeMay 8th 2013
     
    I believe it is not allowed to park on a pavement if this hinders users of the pavement (blocking right of way). Might also have safety argument if view is blocked.

    Jonti
    • CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2013
     
    Posted By: Jontiblocking right of way

    I don't think the right of way is blocked, since there's presumably a space alongside wide enough to drive at least one car past!
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2013
     
    Possibly a tad late for the OP but the other way to find out what the rules are would be to look at the planning permission documents online for a recently granted permission on the same sort of road.
    • CommentAuthorRobinB
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2013 edited
     
    Posted By: djhI don't think the right of way is blocked, since there's presumably a space alongside wide enough to drive at least one car past!
    but the person with the twin buggy on the pavement needs to get past too.

    And The Highway Code (paragraph) 217 instructs drivers not to park their vehicle or trailer on the road where it would endanger, inconvenience or obstruct pedestrians or road users;
    “opposite or within 10 metres of a junction, except when in an authorised parking space” so the OP would have a different scenario depending if the visability splay was a road to an estate i.e. a junction, or a private driveway.
    • CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2013
     
    Posted By: RobinB
    Posted By: djhI don't think the right of way is blocked, since there's presumably a space alongside wide enough to drive at least one car past!
    but the person with the twin buggy on the pavement needs to get past too.

    The right of way is the highway. The person with the buggy is entitled to walk down the carriageway just as much, more so even, than they are entitled to drive down it.

    And The Highway Code (paragraph) 217 instructs drivers not to park their vehicle or trailer on the road where it would endanger, inconvenience or obstruct pedestrians or road users;

    But not observing the highway code is not something you get prosecuted for. It can be a factor in cases of careless driving etc, or allocating responsibility in civil cases.

    I think that's an old copy you're looking at. Most of the text seems to be in para 243 and that does not have a Law cross-reference to indicate there is any offence. The following para 244 is quite specific:

    "You MUST NOT park partially or wholly on the pavement in London, and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it."

    There is an offence in London, but not elsewhere.

    https://www.gov.uk/waiting-and-parking/parking-239-to-247

    There's a reason the police don't do anything about it normally. They can't.
    • CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2013
     
    PS I don't think the way the law works is good. But that's how it is. :sad:
  2.  
    Once heard of a chap who kept having Mums on the school run blocking his drive. One day his foot slipped off the clutch to his ride on mower - nasty big dent no insurance no dear - no one ever parked there after that!
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2013
     
    djh,

    I meant the footpath. Footpaths are 'rights of way' (as is the road) and it is an offence to obstruct footpath users.

    Just because it is not something that is not going to be prosecuted under criminal law does not mean you will not be prosecuted if your careless parking leads to endangering someone or being injured.

    Jonti
    • CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeMay 10th 2013 edited
     
    Posted By: JontiI meant the footpath. Footpaths are 'rights of way' (as is the road) and it is an offence to obstruct footpath users.

    Are you sure? What is the offence (act etc)? I think the highway, which includes the footpaths and carriageways, is a single right of way.

    Posted By: JontiJust because it is not something that is not going to be prosecuted under criminal law does not mean you will not be prosecuted if your careless parking leads to endangering someone or being injured.

    Indeed, but unless somebody actually is endangered or injured and it can be proved to the court, the police still have no reason to act. How many such prosecutions are you aware of?
  3.  
    Posted By: windy lambOne day his foot slipped off the clutch to his ride on mower - nasty big dent no insurance no dear
    Just because you've decided not to insure yourself against a risk doesn't mean that you're not liable. If he caused the damage then he is liable.

    David
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeMay 10th 2013
     
    djh,

    the gent living two doors up from my mate used to park his car half on/off the pavement meaning the old dear at the end of the road could not past. Her son complained to the police who insisted on him parking his car so as to allow pedestrians free passage. He did it again two weeks later when he went off for the weekend. He came back to find that his car had been impounded:confused:

    If you use your car in a way that endangers other people then this is an offence. Try driving past your local police station on the pavement when a bobby is outside and see what happens if you are sure it is allowed:wink:

    Jonti
    • CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2013
     
    Posted By: JontiIf you use your car in a way that endangers other people then this is an offence. Try driving past your local police station on the pavement when a bobby is outside and see what happens if you are sure it is allowed

    As I said right at the beginning, it is an offence to drive on the pavement, and that is what you can be done for if you park on the pavement.

    Again, please supply details of the offences you claim exist and were prosecuted.
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2013
     
    Posted By: djh
    As I said right at the beginning, it is an offence to drive on the pavement, and that is what you can be done for if you park on the pavement.

    Again, please supply details of the offences you claim exist and were prosecuted.


    djh,

    as you would have to drive on the pavement to park I think you have answered your own question with one example.

    Jonti
    • CommentAuthorwindy lamb
    • CommentTimeMay 12th 2013
     
    davidfreeborough - he was liable (and very silly) but it wasn't just a simple matter of exchanging insurance details. So he didn't, he never heard anything more.

    But visibility splays are just that; to allow visibility onto a highway - in order to allow safe entry onto that highway. It stands to reason then that if you park in a manner which blocks the visibility then you are causing an obstruction to other users of the highway and can get a ticket. But it's like Blue Badge holders parking on double yellow lines - they shouldn't because it causes an obstruction (otherwise the yellows wouldn't be there) but they rarely get a ticket.
    Just because the Police aren't interested doesn't mean it's not an offence.
    • CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeMay 13th 2013
     
    Posted By: Jonti
    Posted By: djh
    As I said right at the beginning, it is an offence to drive on the pavement, and that is what you can be done for if you park on the pavement.

    Again, please supply details of the offences you claim exist and were prosecuted.


    djh,

    as you would have to drive on the pavement to park I think you have answered your own question with one example.

    Jonti

    You continue to miss the point, Jonti. Either trust me, or go read up to convince yourself. People do not get prosecuted for driving on the pavement when they have parked on the pavement because there is NO EVIDENCE that they have driven on the pavement. If you believe different, or if you believe in obstruction offences, please cite the cases.

    According to the spin doctors, some progress is being made, but I've seen no evidence of it
    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/freeing-pedestrians-from-pavement-parking-blight
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeMay 13th 2013 edited
     
    I used to live in a road of Victorian terraces, at the end of it was a company that had several daily deliveries by truck. Nearly every month I had to buy a new wing mirror (about 100 quid). One time when a lorry got stuck the police were called to sort it out.
    I had a conversation with the police woman about this company being a nuisance and it transpired that if we parked on the pavement we were breaking the law, if we parked on the road we were breaking the lay (obstructing the highway, got a 20 quid fine for it so I know it is real, was a while back), but the company were doing nothing wrong and it was up to us to put a claim in to them for damage to our vehicles. I mentioned that they were using a fork truck to off load and it was not licensed for road use, they did nothing.

    About a week later I saw the same police woman in the takeaway with her police car parked half on the pavement, on a double yellow and within a few feet of a junction. When I mentioned it to her she said 'I am on a call'. I decided not to push the point.
    You can always trust the village bobby.
   
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