If there’s one thing the people of Teesside hate, it’s inconsiderate motorists who park and drive on the pavement.
Now, one inventor has come up with an extreme new measure which he says will stop pavement parking for good, and might even help stop terror attacks.
Meet the Catclaw, a device that punctures car tyres when you drive over it.
But could it work on Teesside?
Stockton Council and Redcar & Cleveland Council said they have “no plans” to introduce Catclaw on their streets.
But Middlesbrough Council is not ruling it out, saying the device is an “innovative approach”.
“We’re open to new ways of tackling the problem,” said executive member for infrastructure, Councillor Lewis Young.
“Catclaw is clearly an innovative approach. It’s a relatively new product, and we would have to explore its use in detail before deciding whether it could be adopted here.”
The Catclaw device is triggered when a car drives over it, but a pedestrian, bicycle or mobility scooter is not heavy enough.
It deploys a metal spike when driven over, puncturing the tyres of any motorist who tries to mount the kerb.
It’s simple, it’s cheap and inventor Yannick Read, 47, of the Environmental Transport Association, says it will end the scourge of pavement parking.
He said: “We’re addressing road danger – there’s a real problem with drivers parking on the pavement or driving on the pavement because they can’t be bothered to wait.”
The 47-year-old inventor said he was inspired to create the Catclaw after hearing a troubling statistic.
He said: “Last year, 43 people were killed by cars as they walked on pavements.
“In one terrible incident, a four-year-old girl was using a scooter and a delivery driver crushed her to death in front of her mother – it’s an extreme example but it happens far more than it should.
“When you think you’re safe on the pavement, you aren’t safe.”
Mr Read said the device also has potential to stop terror attacks, like the one on London Bridge last year.
He said the response to his prototype has been generally positive and he challenges any nay-sayers.
“We’ve shown the principle works. It wouldn’t be appropriate to put them everywhere. I’d be interested to hear their objections,” he said.
“It’s illegal to drive on the pavement, there’s no excuse to do it. So if you’re not breaking the law your tyres are safe.”
Guidance issued by Teesside’s councils says fixed penalty notices can be issued if vehicles contravene parking, waiting or loading restrictions.
Vehicles parked blocking a footpath may also be committing an offence of obstruction, with Cleveland Police responsible for enforcement.