Can I stop commuters parking outside my house all day?
Property Clinic: One commuter parks with no consideration for our need to come and go
Have I any right to the stretch of ground in front of my gate? Photograph: iStock
We live on a residential street not far from a Luas stop. Because there is free parking, the street has become popular with commuters parking their cars for the day. The same car has taken to parking directly outside our house, barely leaving our entrance clear to come and go. It’s very frustrating and leaves no parking room for any visitor coming to the house. Is there anything I can do to deter this behaviour? Have I any right to the stretch of ground in front of my gate?
Car parking in many residential areas near public transport routes, such as the Luas, is problematic. Lack of consideration for residents is a cause of much annoyance. The problem is exacerbated by the increased numbers of cars in many households.
There are two aspects to the issue you outline, which I have set out below:
Firstly, a car parked as you describe can be obstructive. The situation that usually causes most difficulty arises when two cars are parked on the road on different sides of the exit from a driveway, but only allow a clear space equal to the width of the driveway exit, and a third car parks directly across the road from the driveway. This situation can leave it virtually impossible to enter/exit the driveway, and if so, is not permissible.
The Road Traffic (Traffic and Parking) Regulations 1997, Section 36 (2) (g), states that “A vehicle shall not be parked in any place, position or manner that will result in the vehicle obstructing an entrance or an exit for vehicles to or from a premises, save with the consent of the occupier of such premises. Therefore it may not be adequate to leave just the width of the entrance to the driveway clear. As indicated, the 1997 Regulations prohibit motorists from parking anywhere in such a manner that their car creates a situation that causes an obstruction to a car entering or exiting a driveway.
Secondly, if the road is in the charge of the local authority, it is a public right of way. You do not have any priority right to the stretch of road (which includes the footpath/grass verge and carriageway) in front of your property, irrespective of whether or not your property is registered to the centre of the road. The property effectively in your possession and control extends to its boundary with the public road. This boundary runs along the edge of the footpath that joins the outer face of your front wall/fence, and continues along the end of your driveway.
If car parking is permitted on the road, all motorists, including visitors, have the right to park outside your property provided their car is not causing an obstruction. Your best option, therefore, may be to approach the car owner concerned, explain your difficulty, refer to the 1997 Regulations and seek their co-operation.
Patrick Shine is a chartered geomatics surveyor, a chartered civil engineer and a member of SCSI, scsi.ie