A “SELFISH” Land Rover driver who parked on the pavement of a village street has hit back at his critics.
A critic posted the image on the local Spotted Birstall Facebook group calling it “another example of idiot parking” with many others agreeing.
The villager who posted the snap said there were two parking spaces available just feet away.
They blasted: “I wouldn’t normally both taking a picture but he had two other options of places to park and he parks right next to wall.
“There are kids about, it’s the school holidays, we teach them not to cross behind a parked car, and people like this give us no choice.”
Now the driver, who wishes to remain anonymous, has come forward to explain and, he hopes, to justify his actions.
He claims he had parked as close as he could to a shop his 74-year-old wife needed to visit and he remained in the motor the entire time in case pedestrians, people with prams or wheelchair-users wanted to get past.
The man said his wife has limited mobility due to osteoarthritis and is recovering from major surgery, was back from the shop within a few minutes.
He told the Leicester Mercury: “I parked in this spot near the toilets which have been closed now for nearly two years. My wife has osteoarthritis and it is a condition that causes joints to become painful and stiff.
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“This means I have to help her in and out the Land Rover and she cannot walk very far at all without having to sit down a lot, which is why she has a walker to help her walk and sit down if she needs to, and we have to take this around with us.
“She is 74 years of age and has not long been out of hospital properly, around 10 days or so ago, as she has had her gallbladder removed.
“So it is still early days to be walking too far. The operation was life-threatening and she was rushed into hospital for this.”
The original Facebook post blamed the driver for causing a potential safety issue.
It said: “Another example of idiot parking. wouldn’t normally bother taking a picture but he had two other options of places to park and he parks right next to wall.
“There are kids about, it’s school holidays, we teach them not to cross behind a parked car and people like this give us no choice”.
The driver though said he had sat in the vehicle the entire time, hoping a parking space would become available.
He said: “I was sat inside my vehicle hoping to be able to get a parking space to move into at the time on Stonehill Avenue, which did not happen as no-one had moved.
“There is no disabled parking at all on the Stonehill Avenue in Birstall, so it makes it really hard for people that are disabled and can’t walk far to get close to the shops.
“My wife only nipped in to get a card from the shop that was around 60 feet away and she was only gone 5 to 10 minutes but if anyone disabled in a wheel chair or a pram had come along I would have moved my vehicle out of the way for them.”
There aren’t many hard-and-fast rules governing drivers who want to park on the pavement.
The Highway Code states that drivers outside of London “should not” park on the pavement, meaning there’s no real legislation in place for cops to use.
However, it is illegal to drive on the pavement although this is often difficult to enforce.
That’s because unless an officer actually sees someone driving onto the pavement and then parking, they have no direct proof that the car was driven on the pavement – as it could theoretically have been lifted into place.
Outside London, it’s the responsibility of councils to clamp down on pavement parkers.
Local authorities do have the power to issue a fine – although that’s only the case if there are double-yellows on the road, or if the vehicle is causing an obstruction to wheelchair users or pushchairs.
That means the Land Rover driver could have been issued with a fine by the council if he’d been spotted.
Parliament is currently considering passing new laws later this year which could impose £70 fines for anyone caught parking on the pavement, even if there are no yellow lines or the vehicle is not causing an obstruction.