One of the most common neighbourly disputes is when a driveway repeatedly gets blocked by somebody who lives locally, or who visits somebody in your neighbourhood. It’s incredibly inconvenient, and sometimes it can even be dangerous if you need to keep access for ambulances and other emergency vehicles.
The good news is, there are lots and lots of things to try to get the situation resolved. Try the following to get your drive access back and avoid conflict:
Who’s Doing It?
The first thing to do is to find out who is actually blocking your driveway. If the car simply appears and you don’t catch who is leaving it there, it could be worth leaving a little note on the vehicle to ask who it belongs to. You could also ask neighbours that you like if they know who the car belongs to, as they may know who is doing it, and if they know them, could advise them on parking elsewhere so your drive doesn’t get blocked.
If the car is not being moved at all, it may be that the vehicle has been abandoned, in which case you need to contact your local authority for further advice.
Once you know who is doing the blocking you have a lot more options when it comes to resolving the problem.
Are They Aware?
Always assume the best of people and their intentions. Maybe they didn’t realise they were blocking a drive, or they thought parking up for short times would not be an issue for you. Be as friendly as you can, asking your neighbour or the visitor to park elsewhere so that you can retain access to your property. This may be all it takes to stop the problem happening.
Do They Know How The Issue Is Impacting You?
It may be that you need to let your neighbour know why you need them to stop parking across your drive. Although you would expect somebody to be courteous, if they aren’t, they may be more open to changing their ways if you explain the importance of having access to your drive. Try to appeal to their better nature and stay friendly throughout the conversation.
Niceties Haven’t Worked….
If you have been nice and requested that the person does not park in front of your drive, you’re onto the next stage of resolving the issue. Unfortunately, the law does not actually lean on your side in this instance. On any public highway the rights to parking are present, even when blocking access to a person’s drive. The Highway Code does ask you do not park your vehicle where it may cause an obstruction, but there is no law saying you can’t. The only exception is within certain aspects of The Traffic Management Act 2004 which relates to dropped kerbs, but the rules are tricky so it’s worth looking into that further to see if it can help you take your case further in an official capacity.
If you’re simply left with a stalemate between yourself and the person parking, you could try and get free mediation. Some councils and charities offer it for neighbours who are struggling with conflict and who want to seek a resolution.
Hopefully, you can resolve the issue with your neighbour and get access to your drive again. It’s no fun having to work around these kinds of problems, especially in a place that you expect to feel safe, secure and happy. With any luck, they will see sense and things will return to normal soon.