As Preston parking fury heats up - what can you do about drivers parking outside your home?
There are few things that get householders more irate than inconsiderate parking outside their homes - but what can you actually do about it?
The issue has hit the headlines in Preston in recent days, after residents of St Claires Avenue in Fulwood complained that patients of nearby Royal Preston Hospital were using their street as a 'free hospital car park'.
And residents of Deepdale have seen a full blown 'parking war' with dozens of cars vandalised on residential streets, with the words 'no parking' scratched on several vehicles, believed to be the work of irate residents.
But what can you actually do about it if there is a problem on your street?
Firstly, no-one is entitled to a space outside - or even near- their home.
Some areas have a permit parking scheme, in which only people who have a residents' parking permit are permitted to park on the street. But even these do not guarantee householders a space outside their own home.
The residents permit scheme is run by Lancashire County Council, which says it has no current plans to introduce new areas of permit-only parking.
If there is no permit scheme, the road outside your house counts as public highway, and anyway can park there as long as they are not creating an obstruction.
An obstruction is created if you are parking across a dropped kerb - a lower than usual section of kerb which is usually used to denote a crossing place or access to a driveway.
An obstruction is also created if a car is taking up the majority of space on the pavement, meaning that people in wheelchairs or pushing buggies cannot get past.
Anyone creating an obstruction is liable to a parking ticket from a traffic warden.
The Highway Code also states that you must not park on a pedestrian crossing, including the area marked by the zig-zag lines; in marked taxi bays; in a cycle lane; on red lines; in spaces reserved for Blue Badge holders, residents or motorbikes (unless entitled to do so); near a school entrance; anywhere that would prevent access for Emergency Services; at or near a bus/tram stop; opposite or within 10 metres of a junction.
Anyone lucky enough to have a private driveway will be more relaxed about finding a space, any anyone blocking a private driveway is liable to a fine.
However in an odd loophole, parking in a stranger's driveway is not a criminal offence. The drive counts as private land and the householder will have to resort to civil action for trespass to get rid of the unwanted car.