When a double yellow line is neither use nor ornament (nor legal)

Confusion has arisen in Porthleven after double yellow lines appeared on a road alongside the harbour.

The ‘no parking’ lines were added to a section of Commercial Road which is privately owned by a local businessman, yet allows full access for vehicles and pedestrians as per highways law. It was later revealed that the addition of such road markings requires a Traffic Regulation Order which includes the need for public consultation.

Cornwall Councillor and Mayor of Porthleven Andrew Wallis attempted to clarify the situation on his blog by claiming the lines were not legal. He said: “Harbour and Dock [the landowner] have been advised by myself and Cornwall Council of the correct procedures; with the latter saying no such work should take place until the proper processes have been undertaken. In fact, Highways wrote to the Harbour and Dock asking for all work to stop until this matter had been resolved legally. The Harbour and Dock ignored this advice.

“In simple terms, the Yellow Lines on Commercial Rd are not legal, and have no legal standing and no enforcement can take place by official Civil Enforcement Officers, the Police, or anyone else.”

The lines were painted on one side of the road which has led to motorists parking in front of shops on the opposite side, making access to businesses difficult and a flood of complaints.

The topic is being hotly debated on social media with many locals divided on their feelings, so I visited the town to see for myself.

Speaking to some business owners I was surprised to hear that many were in favour of a no parking rule on the road, yet were critical with how the work has been carried out.

They felt the area was visually improved without cars, flowed better and was safer for pedestrians as the narrow and uneven pavement is not suitable for wheelchairs or prams causing people to walk in the road.

However, even though it may seem a good idea, the question remains whether Harbour and Dock should have carried out the work without permission and against legislation?

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