Police urged to act in Swaffham parking row

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Not enough is being done to stop drivers from blocking pavements when they park on a Swaffham street, according to residents and community leaders.

Police chiefs have been urged to act on the problem in the Station Street area of the town following a string of recent complaints.

But police say they can only get involved if a parked vehicle is putting people in danger or stopping buggies or other similar vehicles from using the path.

And they have urged the public to report such cases to them promptly so that they can take action.

The issue was raised during last week’s meeting of the Swaffham town council, where Ian Sherwood, one of the town’s three Breckland district council representatives, called for them to back his plea for something to be done.

Several letters were also sent to the authority by residents ahead of the meeting.

Mr Sherwood is planning to take up the issue with Norfolk’s chief constable, Simon Bailey, and police and crime commissioner, Stephen Bett, and hopes to find out the number of cases in which enforcement action was taken.

He said: “I think the police should enforce (the law on) dangerous footway parking and make an effort to help with that. I’m trying to establish whether they are doing that.”

But a Norfolk Police spokesman said they were only able to take action if a parked vehicle was either putting pedestrians in danger or preventing a wheelchair or double buggy from using the pavement.

She said: “If that is the case people do need to contact us on 101 and take down a registration number. We will go out and deal with it promptly.”

She pointed out that, in one recent incident, officers were unable to take action against the driver of a vehicle that was reported to have been parked illegally, and which had moved on before officers could get there, because no registration number had been supplied to them.

Since the establishment of the Norfolk Parking Partnership in 2011, parking rules have mostly been enforced by civil enforcement officers.

Officials employed by West Norfolk Borough Council currently work in the Swaffham area.