Access along dunny lane, inner west of Melbourne

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ncstebb

Member
16 May 2020
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I live in Kingsville in Melbourne's inner west. Almost all houses in the area have a lane running along the back which can be used for rear access. As in most cases the lane behind my block has two exits to the streets either side. I own my block and have lived there for more than 12 years now.

Occasionally I will be parked in the back lane loading or unloading a trailer. At most I've had a vehicle there for a few hours, but I'm always close at hand keeping watch to ensure I can move if needed.

Occasionally someone will drive along the lane and expect me to move out of their way immediately, which I do without issue. But it always seems a bit mean to me, because they can always go out the other end of the lane instead of making me move. I've had some brief and polite conversations and I understand that some of them feel they should have the right to drive down the lane whenever they want and that they make me move as a matter of principal, even when they don't really need to.

The lane isn't included within the boundaries of my property (or my neighbour's). I suspect it's crown land.

I'm just wondering what the legal issue is here. For instance...
- Is it true that they can insist I move even when I'm not preventing access to/from their block?
- Could I say something like, I'll be moving in 10 minutes, or do I have to move immediately?

Many thanks for your advice.
 

Atticus

Well-Known Member
6 February 2019
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I'm just wondering what the legal issue is here. For instance...
- Is it true that they can insist I move even when I'm not preventing access to/from their block?
- Could I say something like, I'll be moving in 10 minutes, or do I have to move immediately?
I think this probably goes more to common sense, & courtesy than legalities.....

However, legally, it would probably depend on whether this lane way is a declared public access road.... You would find that out by contacting your local council.... I *believe* lanes such as you describe fall under their authority (to an extent)
 

Tim W

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ncstebb

Member
16 May 2020
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Interesting response. Given that I'm not obstructing them at all. Then I'm definitely not obstructing them unreasonably.
So "a bit mean" seems the nicest way to describe it.

Thanks for your response. Do you have a source for this information?
 

ncstebb

Member
16 May 2020
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Oh I see that was a hyperlink. Thanks. Doesn't seem to apply to this situation though.
 

Tim W

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Given that I'm not obstructing them at all.
If they have to ask you to move, then you're obstructing.
If your are doing bona fide loading or unloading in the right-there-right-then (proof of which lies with you),
then that may be reasonable.
But, they have to interrupt their journey other than momentarily,
( say, having to stop, blow the horn to attract your attention, and wait for you to come out)
then it's can be unreasonable.