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Woman can't use driveway after council erects bollards on path outside home

Woman can't use driveway after council erects bollards on path outside home

She says she's been forced to park her car on a nearby street

A furious homeowner has been ‘blocked’ from using her own driveway after two bollards have been placed outside her home.

The bollards were put in place outside the woman’s home to prevent people from driving over a school crossing that is directly outside the house in Darlington, County Durham.

The woman, who did not want to be named, is pleading with the local council to remove the bollards and move the crossing.

She said: "I didn’t initially know you couldn't drive over it and we only had the driveway done at the end of March.

"A highways inspector drove past, stopped, and told my husband he was legally not allowed to park there.

"We did have grass and a footpath but the tree roots completely uplifted it, so we installed the paved driveway.

"We were totally naïve and just assumed as it was a dropped kerb we would be able to use it."

In May, she received a letter which told her bollards would be put in place if the path was damaged to stop vehicles driving over it.

The woman can't use her drive due to the bollards.
North News and Pictures

"This was just a warning sign, we haven't used it since, yet they still came and installed the bollards,” she added.

In response, the council says it wasn't alerted that the driveway would be paved and would have warned the residents it could not be accessed due to the nearby crossing.

The couple's car is now parked on a street nearby and hasn’t been used since March.

She said: "I feel like we've been made an example of and discriminated against.

"I don’t think they needed to go to this extreme, I'm so embarrassed.

“It just looks awful and whenever I look out the window I'm faced with this. I keep my blinds closed now."

A Darlington Borough Council spokesperson said: "There must be a properly constructed vehicle crossing if residents want to park on a driveway.

The woman has had to park her car elsewhere.
North News and Pictures

"The location must be inspected by the Highways Authority to ensure it is safe. We always try to accommodate requests but there are occasions when we have to refuse, for example, if it’s close to a junction or crossing.

"On this occasion the resident did not contact the Highway Authority before building their block paving.

"If they had, they would have been advised that a vehicle crossing would not be allowed due to the existing crossing, which is also a school crossing patrol location and has been for many years.

"We have been in discussions with the resident for several months and have explored the possibility of moving the crossing point but this has not been possible due to on street parking, bus stops and nearby road junctions.

"The resident told us they would be extending their fence to close the gap but this has not happened so reluctantly we have had to install bollards to prevent cars driving over the footpath.

"It is regretful that we were unable to help this resident but we have a duty of care to keep everyone safe."

Featured Image Credit: North News and Pictures

Topics: UK News, Home