Today I have requested North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) to proceed with their investigation into the role played by them in the unlawful banning of overnight parking at Leeming Bar.
David Kirkpatrick, NYCC, Traffic Engineering Team Leader, submitted an incorrect statement of support for the PSPO to Hambleton District Council (HDC) that resulted in the Cabinet approving to amend the Leeming Bar overnight parking ban in breach of legislation.
Barry Khan, Assistant Chief Executive (Legal and Democratic Services) and Monitoring Officer, NYCC has confirmed that the Investigating Officer has the appropriate experience required for the investigation and he “will also make sure that she has access to any legal advice that she needs from my team.”
I have made the submission below highlighting why the overnight parking ban at Leeming Bar is unlawful and why NYCC should have raised these issues.
- The Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) bans remaining in vehicles “overnight”. As remaining in vehicles is not anti-social behaviour this is a misuse of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. This is confirmed by both the Thames Valley Police and Metropolitan Police
- As the PSPO prevents drivers remaining in vehicles this prevents motorists including local residents driving their vehicles “overnight” as it is impossible, and in breach of legislation, to drive a vehicle without remaining in it. This means residents living off Low Street; business owners on Leeming Bar Industrial Estate: caravaneers on Pembroke Caravan site and truckers at Coneygarth Truck Stop cannot drive their vehicles to any of these places between the hours of 19.00 and 07.00. The PSPO has unlawfully closed the roads.
- The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 – 65 – 1 states “A public spaces protection order may not restrict the public right of way over a highway.” The PSPO does just that and thus breaches the legislation.
- The signage for the PSPO is in breach of the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 (TSRGD 2016) as the signage is not permitted signage. This is supported by the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 – 64 – 1 which states: “In this Act “traffic sign” means any object or device (whether fixed or portable) for conveying, to traffic on roads or any specified class of traffic, warnings, information, requirements, restrictions or prohibitions of any description“. The PSPO is clearly a prohibition and as such the signage breaches the TSRGD 2016.
- In addition the Traffic Signs Manual – Chapter 1 states:“3.3.1. The erection of an unauthorised sign in the highway is an obstruction and the possible consequences of erecting or permitting the erection of obstructions can be severe. Those responsible could lay themselves open to a claim for damages, for example if an obstruction is the cause of an accident or an injury in a collision.” and “3.4.1. Traffic signs in use on the highway must either be prescribed by TSRGD as amended, or be specially authorised by the national authority. Signs that are neither prescribed nor authorised are obstructions on the highway and must be removed.” This confirms that the signage is an obstruction and as the NYCC is the Highways Authority they must remove the signage from the Highway.
My submission highlights various reasons, enshrined in legislation, why the overnight parking ban at Leeming Bar is unlawful and why NYCC should have raised these issues. In addition, they must address their duties as Highway Authority.
I recommend that NYCC agree with my stated position and encourage HDC to revoke the unlawful PSPO. To do otherwise undermines the credibility of not only the Thames Valley Police and Metropolitan Police but also UK legislation.