This Saturday evening a large coach has parked so far for 5 hours on Grange Road in the Bus Lane just prior to Tower Bridge road. The police are not interested, and give a Southwark council number(0207 525 5000). They are not interested and give a private contractor number (0207 394 3334). They are not interested - they cannot move coaches.
Does this mean that coaches have the right to park as they choose? Is Southwark to become a coach park?
Yup, that's about it. People on Tooley Street have been experiencing this problem next to Potters Fields park for at least the last 8 years or so.
Southwark's contractors do in fact (I'm told - have never actually witnessed it) have wheelclamps big enough for coaches - but only two of them, the last I heard. Besides they're not interested in keeping the coach where it is, but in moving it on. They're also not interested because most of the coaches that park in these places are tourist vehicles from overseas and there's no point issuing a ticket when the bus will be out of the country by the time any enforcement action comes to be taken. It will therefore cost them money to come and issue a ticket and they won't recover this expenditure through payment of the parking ticket fee - hence it is a loss-making activity to issue the ticket in the first place. Another joyful side-effect of contracting out and privatisation...
The police will get involved (in my experience) if it is actually blocking the entire highway and the London traffic wardens (as opposed to Southwark's ones) may just take action if it is occuring on a red route.
This is an issue you will probably need to lobby your GLA assembly member on, to put pressure on TfL to achieve any turnaround since it will require concerted action and a change of policy when it comes to taking enforcement action: they'll probably need a database of London-wide parking infractions by coaches so that the next time the same overseas coach returns to the UK and parks illegally it can be nabbed and impounded before it has a chance to leave again. It is only action like this which will put pressure on foreign coach operators. Then again, if you're governing London, what are you more worried about - annoying a few Londoners or protecting the economic good to London of all those foreign coach tours which result in lots of money being spent in the capital?
I don't think that you are being cynical, just realistic. As I understand it, there is no legislation under which Local Authorities can clamp or tow away commercial vehicles, especially if the driver is with the vehicle.
The practicalities of removing a large vehicle are also an obstacle. Back in 1976 I watched a Police driver try to drive an articulated truck into the old car pound at Bricklayers Arms. The result was the complete destruction of the automatic barrier at the entrance.
In comparison, private cars are a far easier target because they can be clamped or lifted with relatively little problem.
Speaking personally, I wish that national legislation was changed to allow both the Police and Local Authorities to take real action against commercial vehicles whose operation damages the environment.
During the building of the Morocco Store (Leathermarket St) a mobile crane was used on different occassions to deliver roof trusses and materials. The crane's outrigger legs were positioned on the newly laid pavement and smashed the paving stones for some 30m. All the interested parties denied liability and it was only the determination of the Local Authority, assisted by witness statements from members of the public, that finally achieved restitution (albeit without any acceptance of liability).
In some ways similar to the coach event that triggered this thread, Terminal Studios (Lambs Walk) regularly have tour buses parked on Bermondsey St into the small hours with engine and aircon running. This must really annoy some of the residents and a little consideration would, I am sure, be appreciated. But, by the same token, last evening's party in Bickel's Yard probably kept a few neighbours awake as well.
On a very positive note, I parked our car on a residents bay on Friday and missed the fact that the bay had been suspended. Returning home I found the car missing and checked at the car pound who had no record of it either there or across London. Before reporting it stolen I had a look around the 'hood and found it in SnowsFields, on a residents bay and with a parking ticket. I can only surmise that Southwark's tow-crew cut us some slack and dropped it in SnowsFields thus saving us around £100. If you read this, thanks guys.
Coaches have been using our street as a parking bay for nigh on 15/20 years. We used to have a dreadful problem with buses I phoned the bus company on a regular basis to complain about the engines runningm even tried environmental health and was told that public service vehicles were exempt from any action that could be taken concerning vehicle emissions.
We very rarely see the buses here now as the coaches take up all the spaces. I have photos of six/seven coaches parked up at one time. As long as the flipping engine is not running....I have learnt that it's part and parcel of living in London, fortunately the company phone number is on the side and I phone them to complain if the engine is running, no matter where in the world they are, even Poland! If the drivers want places to stop for a break why cant they go to Mandela Way?
Following on from Jan's comments, it doesn't take much thought for the driver of a coach or lorry to park somewhere quiet and wait for a call on their mobile to go and collect/deliver.
Last week an articulated truck parked at the end of Tanner St near the junction with Bermondsey St and blocked the whole of both streets for the better part of 30 minutes. It turned out that the driver was round it Morocco St waiting for his turn to collect skyhook parts from Berkeley/Galliard/Bellway etc.
He could just as easily have parked by Bermondsey Square until he was needed but such consideration just doesn't seem to be in the nature of us Brits.