Thursday, 6 March 2008

Unlawful obstruction on Coleridge Road

Builders have blocked off the pavement with red and white tape outside numbers 54 and 56 Coleridge Road E17. In the area between the two strips of tape (which is looped around the skip) they have put down plastic sheeting and are using the space to mix cement.

This is flagrant and unlawful obstruction of the footway. Builders have no right to take over the pavement in this way. It is, incidentally, close to Greenleaf Primary School, so this is a 'walk to school' route. Some children walking to and from school will be forced out into the road at this point. So will carers with buggies.

There is work being done on the roof at this property, so I would not be particularly surprised if these are the sort of builders who chuck stuff from the roof straight into the skip below. Highly dangerous and also unlawful, but again builders do it all the time.

Why do builders do this kind of thing and get away with it? Well, firstly few pedestrians will be aware that this is unlawful obstruction. This tape might look 'official' but it isn't. But the Council does nothing to encourage awareness of walking rights or how to complain.

If you do complain, the chances are that you will be told the matter will be investigated within five working days (or more). But this type of obstruction needs an immediate response. In five days time the builders may well have moved on somewhere else.

The chances are that even if an environmental services inspector investigates, the builder will be advised it is unlawful and instructed to remove it. They will probably do so, but no lesson will be learned becase they'll just do it on the next job, which may well be outside the Borough. And builders are often difficult to identify in terms of a business address, since the trade is largely unregulated.