A local authority has warned it will start issuing fines to drivers flouting an overnight parking ban in one of North Yorkshire’s most important industrial estates and has launched a move to consider a further Public Space Protection Order at another antisocial behaviour hotspot.
Hambleton District Council’s cabinet will meet next week to consider changes to its order covering Leeming Bar Industrial Estate, where residents and traders say they have been plagued by truckers who leave engines running, dump litter and use the area as “an open toilet”.
It has been proposed the order, under which offenders could be fined £100 or prosecuted, will bar remaining in any vehicle within the restricted area for any period of time between 7am and 7pm.
Councillors have also been recommended to ban the depositing of human waste or litter other than into a receptacle intended for the purpose.
A report to the cabinet states clarifying the order will assist in enforcement action and that it had not issued any fines since launching the order in May.
The report added: “Whilst significant problems continue to persist in the Thirsk area it is proposed that due consideration is given to the implementation of a Public Space Protection Order once the council has experience of the full enforcement phase of the Leeming Bar order and can therefore make an informed evaluation of the overall suitability of such an approach.”
Despite the absence of fines, the report states the initial phase of the ban has seen a significant reduction in the number of drivers using the area to sleep, with 269 educational leaflets issued to offenders in June falling to 170 in October.
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In a public consultation over the order 75 per cent supported it. One resident wrote the order would need to be enforced properly with fines issued or the problem would be as bad as it as before it was in place.
She said: “It is only a matter of time before a serious accident occurs with cars being forced to pass lorries into oncoming traffic. As for litter and human waste being dumped, no residents or businesses on the estate should have to put up with that, signs should not have to be necessary.”
The report said warnings would generally be issued where the order has been breached without reasonable excuse before a fixed penalty notice is issued, but repeat offenders may receive an immediate fine.
However, among those opposing the order is former councillor Andy Strangeway, who has claimed the authority cannot legally implement the order.
He said: “The legislation clearly confirms that any public notices Hambleton District Council proposes to deploy for the proposed order will indeed be traffic signs, and as such notices are not contained in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016, so they may not be used. Thus, no Public Space Protection Order can be introduced.”
Others opposing the order say lorry drivers have little alternative but to park in the industrial estate overnight as the nearby lorry parks are always full.
In response, the council said nearby Coneygarth Services was granted approval to increase its parking capacity by 50 HGV spaces with toilet and showering facilities.
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In addition, plans have been submitted to Selby District Council for motorway services near Sherburn in Elmet which includes 101 HGV parking spaces and there are plans for a new service station on the A1(M) at Catterick Village, featuring 40 HGV parking spaces.
Leeming bar councillor Carl Les said drivers were choosing to park on the industrial estate even when there are spaces at appropriate overnight stopping locations to save the cost of parking there. He said there was a nationwide problem with overnight lorry parking.
He said: “This is the right approach to take. This has been an ongoing problem for a number if years and residents have been asking for a solution.
“The community deserves to have some action and the educational phase of the action seems to be working, although it appears to have hit a plateau. Education can only go so far.”