Police called after woman used wheelie bin to reserve parking

The wheelie bin that led to police being called
Anger over a wheelie bin led a homeowner in Tredworth in Gloucestershire to call the police. A 44-year-old woman was stunned to be visited by officers, and warned that she was committing an offence by reserving a parking space with her wheelie bin. The woman, who has asked for anonymity, uses her bin to save her space, as her disability means she cannot walk far.

She said that she suffers from arthritis in her legs, gets out of breath quickly and is in pain when she walks. Non-residents park in the road, so she sometimes struggles for a space. As a result she uses her bin to keep a space clear.

However, her practice of leaving the bin in the road upset one of her neighbours, who called police. Officers came to her house and said 'bin-blocking' was an offence, and that she could be prosecuted.

A Gloucestershire police spokesperson advised that it was a PCSO who had visited the woman and advised her to contact the council to request a disabled parking space, because reserving space with a bin contravenes the Highway Act 1980.

Bin dramas

The fact that someone took the time to report her to the police demonstrates just how much ill-feeling can be generated by bin-related arguments.

Two weeks ago, a row over a wheelie bin in Hatherley Cheltenham, ended with armed police being called. In an on-going row, one man had left a 'stinking' wheelie bin under his neighbour's window, so he called the police. Given that the men had an ongoing feud, and the caller threatened to use violence, the police were dispatched with handguns and tasters.

Last Month, a court heard of an argument over a bin that did end in violence. A man in Plymouth had left his bin out to reserve a parking space, and his neighbour moved it in order to let a female friend's car out. The man who was reserving a parking space emerged from his house and started kicking the woman's car. He then got in his own car and tried to run his neighbour over. He was given a suspended sentence, and ordered to attend anger management classes.

And it's not just violence you need to be worried about back in 2013 neighbours who fell out over whether a wheelie bin blocked a shared driveway. The ensuing argument ended up in court and cost them £15,000. One of the families had to remortgage their home to pay the legal fees.


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