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Deep ruts (mud) on footpath and driveway access

Reported via desktop in the Slabs - Uneven / Damaged / Cracked category anonymously at 14:29, Sunday 16 May 2021

Sent to Northamptonshire Highways less than a minute later. ref: 2729247.

I am reporting the grass verge is being used to park cars while visiting at no 5, driving over access driveways and leaving trails of mud which school children and parents have to walk through to get to the school. The vehicles using the grass verge as a car park area have cut deep ruts in the grass verge, the grass has all been destroyed now and the ruts are falling onto the actual path. Can anything be done to stop this activity please?

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  • Thank you for reporting a fault. We will use the information you have provided to assess and prioritise this fault in accordance with our published response times for fault reports.

    State changed to: Investigating

    Posted by Northamptonshire Highways at 14:29, Sunday 16 May 2021

  • Thank you for your enquiry. I can advise our maintenance team have visited the area and have removed the mud deposited onto the path. This is a common problem during periods of heavy rainfall where the verges soften and become prone to rutting. It is unfortunate but Northamptonshire Highways do not have the financial resources to continually reinstate grass verges on the basis that they may look unsightly and as such we are unable to consider remedial works such as bollards, hard-standing or other preventative measures and will only intervene in exceptional circumstances, where the problem has become a safety concern to either road users or pedestrians. If the verge becomes damaged to the point that it is considered to be a safety concern then this can be reinstated through our maintenance programme. The issue with this is that it will soon become damaged again if vehicles continue to overrun the verge. It is not an offence in law to park a motor vehicle, other than a heavy goods vehicle, on a grass verge unless it causes an obstruction or a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) / byelaw is in force prohibiting it. Requests for posts, bollards or signs to be erected to protect the verge in order to stop parking will not be considered except on safety grounds to persons using the highway or to self-enforce an existing TRO. Although there is no blanket prohibition of parking on verges, a particular incident of verge parking may be considered dangerous or obstructive and therefore constitute a criminal offence which would need to be investigated, and enforcement action taken by the Police. Where there is an issue with parking as with this scenario, it is difficult to solve the problem with engineering measures without either opposition from the local community or the displacement of vehicles to another location, and therefore we rely on motorists to park in a sensible and considerate manner. There are occasions when preventative parking measures would be of benefit, such as waiting restrictions which can be implemented to address a permanent instance of dangerous parking. When considering these requests however, it is necessary to keep in mind the displacement of vehicles and where these will be transferred. As with many highway related problems it’s about striking a balance that addresses the issues without creating new ones.

    State changed to: In progress

    Posted by Northamptonshire Highways at 11:25, Monday 24 May 2021

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