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Am I breaking any law(s)?

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Am I breaking any law(s)?

Postby monika » Sat Feb 13, 2016 8:24 pm


Because I live in a flat where the front door opens onto the road (or path) outside, I have no where park my motor bike. There is a rather sturdy lamp post on the street to the side of me which I plan to chain my bike to to prevent it being knicked. It is tucked up on the pavement in the corner, under a shrub and no where it will impact on traffic as the road is a cul-de-sac.

My question is would I be breaking any laws by doing so? Is it illegal to chain my bike to a lamp post - does it contravene any laws or would the local council have any cause for comlpaint?

Thanks for your assistance.
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Re: Am I breaking any law(s)?

Postby blig » Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:26 am

Many (not all) local authorities will ignore this if it doesn't cause an obstruction to pedestrians. Phone the parking section of your local council and ask.
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Re: Am I breaking any law(s)?

Postby shootist » Sun Feb 14, 2016 9:02 am

If you ask anyone at a local authority the default answer will be 'no'. Don't ask, just do it. If nothing happens then it's a win for you. If something does, then at worst it will be some sort of fixed penalty and you'll be back to square one.
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Re: Am I breaking any law(s)?

Postby Hairyloon » Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:06 am

What offences might OP be committing?
Blocking the pavement is an offence, but he has said he won't be doing that.
Did I read of a case where a bike chained to railings was considered criminal damage? I can't see that being convincing here.
Trespass? Ought not be any problem beyond "stop it and don't do it again".
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Re: Am I breaking any law(s)?

Postby diy » Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:45 pm

If in London then its illegal : http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukla/1974/24/section/15

Apart from that its down to any local laws, but you run the risk of people tripping over it and making a claim or the council arguing that its causing an obstruction.

Having said that - I'm not entirely convinced the pavement meets the definition of pavement.. Is it adjacent to a highway?
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Re: Am I breaking any law(s)?

Postby atticus » Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:24 pm

I would guess from the OP's monicker that the OP is "she" and not "he".

What is the definition of pavement, and where is that definition to be found?
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Re: Am I breaking any law(s)?

Postby diy » Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:57 am

Footway is the correct term - Pavement is any paved area or hard standing. However, rule regarding parking on it or riding on it date back to the The Highways Act 1835 and the Local Government Act 1888.

Footpaths, pavement and footways are all different. The OP may actually be describing a "paved area" with no legal status other than any rights/restrictions expressed by the land owner.

Most of 1835 Highway Act has been either amended or repealed, but clause 72 remains in force and governs the rights to ride or drive on the "pavement"

“If any person shall wilfully ride upon any footpath or causeway by the side of any road made or set apart for the use or accommodation of foot passengers; or shall wilfully lead or drive any horse, ass, sheep, mule, swine, or cattle or carriage of any description, or any truck or sledge, upon any such footpath or causeway; or shall tether any horse, ass, mule, swine, or cattle, on any highway, so as to suffer or permit the tethered animal to be thereon.”

A pavement only becomes subject to the above if its adjacent to a highway.
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Re: Am I breaking any law(s)?

Postby dls » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:28 am

HL, whether someone is blocking a path is not the same as whether it is causing an obstruction. A right of way is a right to go along any and every part of the right of way. That some part of the way remains available and can easily accommodate any passer by, does not make an obstruction of a part any less an obstruction.
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Re: Am I breaking any law(s)?

Postby diy » Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:24 pm

As I understand criminal damage - given how frequently it has been discussed here we have two angles to the argument:

In Favour:
‘Damage’ is loosely interpreted and doesn't necessarily need to be permanent. If it needs time and labour to rectify its probably damage : Roe v Kingerlee [1986], Roper v Knott [1898], Hardman v Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset [1986]

Against: Criminal Damage Act 1971, s. 5

The meaning of ‘lawful excuse’ is specially provided for in relation to this offence in the Act, (but it does not apply to the aggravated offence of criminal damage).

a) if he believed that the person or persons whom he believed to be entitled to consent .. had so consented, or would have so consented to it if he or they had known of the destruction or damage and its circumstances; or
(b) if he [did the acts] in order to protect property belonging to himself or another

Provided he believed–

(i) there was immediate need of protection; and
(ii) that the means of protection…were… reasonable having regard to all the circumstances.

(3) For the purposes of this section it is immaterial whether a belief is justified or not if it is honestly held.

on the edge of relevant would be the defence of protection of property/mistaken belief Jaggard v Dickinson [1981]
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