I've been blocked from using driveway after council installed bollards outside – we haven't used our car for MONTHS | The Sun

A WOMAN has been blocked from using her driveway after the council installed bollards outside.

The homeowner, who wished to remain anonymous, said she hasn't been able to use her car for months ever since the barriers were erected opposite her home in Darlington, County Durham.

A section of tactile pavement was installed on the footpath directly outside the property in 2018 to increase the safety of parents and kids heading to a nearby school.

However, the bollards have since been added to prevent people driving over the designated crossing area.

The furious resident now wants the entire thing relocated.

After witnessing traffic jams for almost five years, the woman has now called on council bosses to get rid of the safe crossing and bollards.


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She said: "I didn’t initially know you couldn't drive over [the crossing] 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."

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A letter from Darlington Borough Council (DBC) in May stated bollards would be installed if the path was damaged, in an attempt to stop vehicles driving over it.

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

In response, the council said it wasn't alerted that the driveway would be paved and if they were, would have warned residents.

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

The woman added: "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."

During school-run hours, a lollipop lady tries to manage the traffic on the crossing.

However, parked cars flank either side of the road with vehicles forced to squeeze through gaps and use the edge of pavements.

Local councillor Deborah Laing said she'd been trying to help the local in her battle but hasn't "got anywhere yet".

She said: "It's very difficult and we have asked the questions but we have not got anywhere yet.

"She has everything going against her and we're trying to find a feasible solution.

"I can understand the council's decision but I really sympathise with her as it’s very difficult in the village with parking."

A DBC spokesperson said the woman didn't contact the Highway Authority before installing the driveway – and if she had, she would have been told it wasn't allowed because of the crossing.

They added: "There must be a properly constructed vehicle crossing if residents want to park on a driveway.

"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.

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"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."

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