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Printed From: Trailer Tents and Folding Campers
Forum Description: Discussions on Trailer Tents and Folding Campers of all makes. Buying advice, practical tips, maintenance, towing etc
Printed Date: 22/4/2019 at 9:30pm

Topic: Unattended trailers at the roadside.

Posted By: Pandabloke
Subject: Unattended trailers at the roadside.
Date Posted: 25/7/2005 at 4:47pm

Just a quicky.  A bloke round the corner from me keeps his box trailer standing on the road outside his house.  It ain't attached to his motor either. It's just free standing. 

Now, I always thought this was an offence.  My District council say they can't do anything as it is not abandoned (fair comment, I know who it belongs to) and the local police seem to think it is not illegal to do this!  My county council say that it is nothing to do with them.

Am I right or wrong and can anyone quote any legislation at me to prove I'm right?

My gripe is that parking is at a premium near me and this bloody thing takes up a whole space to itself.  Sorry, lost it there for a minute!

Posted By: tentmad
Date Posted: 25/7/2005 at 6:50pm

doesnt it have to have lights on it then, surprised its still there actually doesnt it have any locks on it? it could be moved then couldnt it? to another road.

Posted By: Jan P
Date Posted: 25/7/2005 at 7:29pm

My understanding is if its roadworthy and has lights its ok.

Posted By: tentmad
Date Posted: 25/7/2005 at 7:59pm

yes but on a night they have to be lit?

Posted By: Jan P
Date Posted: 25/7/2005 at 10:04pm

They do on a skip and and a caravan! well according to our police sergeant anyway.

Posted By: cazscot
Date Posted: 26/7/2005 at 2:27pm


if a car has no tax, mot, or insurance then it will be illegally parked 

so surely a trailer that does not need any of these should  be allowed to be left unattended on any public roads

Posted By: pobrey
Date Posted: 26/7/2005 at 3:15pm

By law it should be lit at night, and facing the right way on the road. I would remind the police of this.

Posted By: andy280464
Date Posted: 26/7/2005 at 6:08pm

When we had a caravan we were between holidays of about three weeks so we decided to leave it on the road inplace of the car so it was half on the road half on the pavement causing nobody any hassle until a neighbour  decided that they were going to  park thier car acroos from it just on the road rather than the same way every body else had done ie half/half  i got a phone call from my wife saying that i would have to come out of work move the van and then go back to work .the said nieghbour wouldn't admit they were just being spiteful or that they owned the car (even though i'd fixed it for them a week before ) so the police and council put nice signs on it requesting it be moved promptly so the moral is if its causing an obstruction then it  has to be moved, get a friend round tell him exactly where to park then phone the police and council ,take pics and do it legally 

Posted By: Sonic
Date Posted: 26/7/2005 at 7:13pm

If you are trying to get trailer tent and folding camper users to back you up on this I think you may be in the wrong place. Not withstanding, I had believed that unless a trailer was hitched to a road legal vehicle then it is unlicenced and as such liable to clamping and removal by the dvla. However as the dvla have no record of trailers then I suspect this is difficult to police. Have you considered asking your neighbour to park it elsewhere, he may be willing and it would avoid a lot of bad feeling in the neighbourhood.

Posted By: tentmad
Date Posted: 26/7/2005 at 7:45pm

you could always confuse the guy by turning it the other way around, it might make him think that one day its going to go, i tell you around here this posting wouldnt have come about, there d be  no trailer there to complain about!!!!

Posted By: Pandabloke
Date Posted: 26/7/2005 at 11:41pm

Thought so. Nobody is actually 100% sure, are they? No he won't move it, I have asked terribly politely.  He uses it in a rather pathetic fashion to ensure that no one parks outside his house! I can't park opposite it as the road is very narrow there anyway.  Just enough room to get past all the parked vehicles anyway.   What I need is a bit of legislation to refer to.  What have you folks?

Posted By: Pandabloke
Date Posted: 27/7/2005 at 12:23am

(Edited post due to removal of a previous post!)

That previous post of mine above here seems a bit smug.  Sorry, it wasn't meant to be at all and I am extremely grateful for all your comments.

Just trying to establish whether it's legal or not. I pay 30 a month in good faith to garage my trailer because I understood that unattended trailers were illegal on the road. The reponses so far have been helpful, informative and provocative. But I have not identified the appropriate legislation to either take action or leave the matter be!  Bit pathetic I know, but I'm on a mission now !

Thanks all for your interesting responses.

Post last edited on 27/07/2005 01:07:16

Post last edited on 27/07/2005 01:09:45

Posted By: wildie
Date Posted: 27/7/2005 at 12:39am

hey do cars have lights on at night, nope as long as its facing the right way with its reflective bits its legal, seeing it has no engine of anykind its dont need tax ins or mot.
goto the dvla webby and look it up under highway code.
you do know how too use google.

Posted By: Pandabloke
Date Posted: 27/7/2005 at 12:48am

Thanks, I shall try that.  Looked in the Road Traffic Act online and it doesn't appear to cover trailers. DVLA seems a popular idea so I shall have a bash at that. Yes, can use google but am a Yahoo man myself.  Cheers wildie.

Posted By: Pandabloke
Date Posted: 27/7/2005 at 1:13am

Ah ha!

This appears to show that the damn thing should at least be lit at night.  Knowing me I'm probably reading this wrong anyway, but it is some thing to work on.

Thanks again wildie.


Posted By: Jan P
Date Posted: 27/7/2005 at 8:20am

Right according to the police sergeant who lives down the road it does need lights on but and you knew there was a but they wont do anything if they don't think its causing an obstruction.

Posted By: Pandabloke
Date Posted: 27/7/2005 at 6:50pm

I'm beginning to see that now Jan.  Cheers for your reply.

Here's what I've discovered.

It does need to be lit at night - well done all.

It should not cause an obstruction - well done all again.

Environmental Health can treat it as an abandoned vehicle BUT the moment it is claimed then it is no longer an abandoned vehicle.  Seems fair!

Here's a twist though.  Higways Dept. can deal with it if it hasn't moved for a period of time.  They can treat it as 'a structure on the highway' and ask for its removal BUT AGAIN (!) the moment it is moved even a few inches the whole process has to start again.  Marvellous!

So to summise, in general it is illegal to park an unattended trailer/caravan on the road unless it is lit at night, but the police appear to be reluctant to enforce this legislation unless the vehicle is causing an obstruction.

There we go!  Most of you got all or most of this I think and the legislation is The Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989. Hoorah!

Still cheeses me off when I see it taking up a valuable parking space.  I have left it in the hands of the local Police Community Support Officer and Highways Department to 'encourage' him to park it on the 1/4 of an acre behind his house, his drive, his hard standing, his front garden, his garage.........

Thanks everyone who replied.


Posted By: Pandabloke
Date Posted: 27/7/2005 at 7:07pm

Oh god there's more !!!!!!!

" In response to your enquiry I have received the following from our Traffic Section:
There seems to be more than one option to consider here.
1    Unnecessary obstruction sect 42 Road traffic act 1988 and Reg 107 Construction & Use regs 1989.
depending on circumstances at the time it could be possible to prove this offence. 
2    Reg 89 Con & Use regs 1989 states that a trailer left standing upon a road should have at least one of its wheels prevented from revolving by setting a brake, or by chain , or wheel chock, etc.
3    The trailer should be lit at night. ie between sunset and sunrise reg 24 Road Vehicle lighting Reg 1989. 
If it is unlit at night it could be construed to be causing an unnecessary obstruction.
Regards "

Excerts from an e-mailed response to my enquiry to Kent County Constabulary.

Even I'm getting bored with this now !

Posted By: jennifernn
Date Posted: 27/7/2005 at 8:32pm

It is my understanding that there is no right to park outside your house and police can request removal of anything they consider to be causing an obstruction. If he has a garage, a driveway, a hardstanding and a front garden  (btw do you also have same?) why does he need to park anything on the road?  And yes, it should have lights at night.

Many years ago we brought our van from storage to the house to clean and load up ready to go away.  That house had a very steep driveway which we could not possibly put a caravan on. It was to be there for 3 nights, parked under a lamp-post in a cul-de-sac of pretty standard width.  After 1 night the police turned up at our door to say they had received an anonymous phonecall reporting a caravan causing an obstruction ( which it wasn't) and that we had to move it immediately. We told them we were off on holiday and had only brought it to load up etc, so they said in that case we could leave it but had to put lights on it and if it caused an incident then we would be responsible.  Our neighbour across the street was a retired policeman and right old grump, so no prizes for guessing who the anonymous caller was!!!

Posted By: Pandabloke
Date Posted: 29/7/2005 at 6:29pm

Hi Jen.Thanks for the response.  I suppose I could be considered by some to be a bit of an old grump as well!  No, we live in an adjacent road, up a 6ft track.  We can barely get up to unload after a trip to Tesco's let alone park.  No front gardens or vehicle access round the back or even a garage.

We have to park on the public highway but we take care not to park outside peoples houses nearby unless the parking on the main road where there are no properties is full.  Even then all us in the little 'ouses take care not to encroach over driveways or whatever of those in the big 'ouses!

We simply park outside them if it is necessary.  All perfectly legal and we have a friendly and neighbourly rapport with all and sundry except this chap with the trailer who believes, it would seem, that he has a god given right to the three spaces outside his very large property and will possess them by whatever means necessary!

Anyway, the local Police Community Support Officer was visiting him today and I'll let you know the results, if you haven't lost the will to live yet!  Cheers! 

Posted By: jennifernn
Date Posted: 29/7/2005 at 9:16pm

Hang in there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted By: LostAgainAndAga
Date Posted: 31/7/2005 at 1:27am

wot if its hitched to a car-does it become part of the car? then it wont need lights??

A truck can park on the road with no lights on and that has a trailer.

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