Crackdown On Builders Who Block The Highway

Council to step up enforcement action

Builders who take up residents’ parking spaces with piles of building materials or cause traffic jams by using grab lorries to empty skips are to be targeted in a new crackdown on highway obstructions.

The council is stepping up enforcement action against builders who cause problems for local residents.

A growing number of complaints are coming from local people who suffer inconvenience when builders store bricks, timber, piles of sand or bags of cement on the public highway.

This means residents are deprived of parking spaces - often for days on end.

Another problem is created by builders who do not want to pay to have skips removed when they are full of waste. Some are cutting corners by arranging for grab lorries to park in the middle of the road while they empty the skip – causing local traffic jams and lengthy tailbacks.

It is easier and cheaper for a builder to get rid of rubble and waste this way rather than have the fully laden skip taken away and replaced with an empty one.

The council now aims to ensure that residents no longer suffer these types of inconvenience and highways inspectors will be issuing on-the-spot fines to any builders they find behaving in this way. Extra staff are to be transferred into the unit from other council departments to ensure these problems are dealt with firmly.

Transport and community services spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “Councillors across the borough have reported an upturn in complaints about the activities of some builders who are showing very little regard for residents.

“Using parking spaces to store building materials or blocking the road to empty a skip with a grab lorry are two of the main concerns, which is why we are allocating additional staff to tackle this problem

“Builders who engage in this type of conduct can expect a short, sharp shock in the form of a fixed penalty notice. And if they don’t pay they can look forward to a day in court and the prospect of a much steeper fine.”

Anyone handed a fixed penalty notice must pay £100 within 28 days. If they fail to do so they will be summonsed to appear in the magistrates courtm which can impose fines of up to £1,000.

Residents who wish to report any type of obstruction on the highway should call (020) 8871 6708 or email

October 13, 2014