RESIDENTS who have coned off spaces outside their own homes to stop hospital staff parking have been threatened with fines by police.
People living in Woodhouse Road, Wheatley, and on neighbouring streets have taken to using cones and bins to block off areas outside their houses after becoming fed up of not being able to get a parking space.
It is understood the cars parking in front of the houses are staff at the hospital which has recently brought in new parking restrictions, although residents say the issue has been getting increasingly worse for the last five years.
Chris Foster, who lives in Woodhouse Road, said she had heard of people being verbally abused when they tried to stop cars parking on the street, for what can be up to 12 hours at a time.
She said: “We can’t get parked anywhere near our houses and then have had this letter saying we are causing an obstruction.
“There are parked cars all the way up and down the street.
“And when people try and speak to the people parking their cars they just get abuse.
“In other places they have double yellow lines or parking permits to stop this.”
Residents have even painted a sign outside their homes asking hospital staff not to park there, but this has been ignored.
South Yorkshire Police has confirmed residents have no legal entitlement to secure parking outside their homes, although officers have not issued any formal warnings to homeowners over this matter.
A spokesman said: “The (council’s) highways department have sent letters to residents asking for the practice of reserving car parking to stop, and there may be possible further action if this is not heeded.
“The letter from the highways department is quite correct in warning that this practice is not an appropriate solution.”
Peter Dale, Director of Regeneration and Environment, said: “It has been reported to us that some residents of Woodhouse Road have been placing cones and other items outside their houses to prevent people parking. It is the council’s responsibility as the highway authority to keep the roads free of obstructions and so residents have been informed that placing items in the road is illegal.
“We appreciate the frustration which can be caused when a residential road is used as a parking area by people who work nearby. We have previously consulted with the residents of Woodhouse Road over whether parking restrictions should be introduced. On that occasion there was no consensus of opinion, but if the majority of residents request a further consultation then it will be carried out.”