A PENSIONER fed up with illegal parking in a Southampton neighbourhood has taken matters into his own hands.

Tony Weafer does not leave the house without carrying a batch of his ‘pavements for people’ stickers.

The 68-year-old said that cars are often “abandoned” on the pavement in Shirley High Street and surrounding roads, which is “dangerous and unnecessary”.

Daily Echo: The parking Mr Weafer refers toThe parking Mr Weafer refers to

If he sees a vehicle left in such a way, he will slap a red and white sticker onto the windscreen before taking a photo and reporting it to the council.

“A few months ago, people started testing their luck and were getting away with it,” said an infuriated Mr Weafer.

“Parking on the double yellows, the pavement, and it’s just getting worse and worse.

“The other day a young gentleman parked on the pavement just to pop in and get his haircut. There’s parking just around the corner!”

Mr Weafer added that he noticed a shop owner in the High Street had left their van on the pavement.

When he flagged the issue, he says he was asked to leave the store.

Daily Echo:

A council enforcement officer later attended and resolved the matter.

“That’s all it needs,” continued Tony. “If it is enforced, things can get back to normal.”

“But there is no enforcement and the people walking along are the ones who suffer.

“Yes, these pavements are wide and a lot of people can get through and shrug their shoulders, but I’ve seen a blind person bump into a car and accidentally walk in the road to try and find their way around it.

“Another point is that these pavements were refurbished a couple of years ago, but they will be damaged again if this keeps up.”

Ward councillor, Satvir Kaur, says she is working hard to put an end to the problem.

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She told the Echo: “Drivers parking on pavements is an extremely selfish act, that puts others at risk.

"It not only makes it harder for other drivers and cyclists trying to weave past a half mounted car that shouldn’t be there, but it particularly makes it more difficult for elderly people, those in wheelchairs, or that use pushchairs to use and enjoy our local high street safely.

“I’m pleased the Shirley and Freemantle Watch have taken up this issue and are working with local ward councillors to not only raise awareness of this problem but find solutions to resolve the problem, including trying to get better enforcement and infrastructure improvements along the high street.

“Unless we can make our local high street a place that is accessible and safe for all, we risk losing it.”  

Freemantle councillor Steve Leggett has been tackling a similar problem in his ward.

“Freemantle councillors are campaigning to reduce this practice as it makes it unsafe for pedestrians and local residents,” he said.

A city council spokesperson said Shirley's parking is enforced when resources allow and a solution is being sought.

But they added some of the pavement parked on along Shirley Road to Shirley High Street corridor is private - so the authority has no powers.

"This means that for those vehicles that mount the pavement and park in front properties the No Waiting yellow lines on the highway will not apply to these areas," they said.