I went over to Heathrow yesterday where they were landing on 09L and most spotters/photographers were at the field containing the approach lights. I was a little disturbed to note a police officer seemingly telling car driving spotters to leave.
However...he was actually being VERY lenient. The problem was with those drivers who insist on parking their cars and blocking the footpath while doing so. The officer wanted them to move their cars further onto the verge and leave the footpath clear. This was as a result of recent complaints from local people who had experienced problems using the footpath, especially mothers with baby buggies who were having to step into the main dual carriageway road. OK, I know there's not many of them but they aren't breaking the law !
The officer was being very polite about all this but one or two grumpy spotters didn't help by having a moan. I had a word with the officer who stated that they had to enforce the law to allow lawful public access. He was happy for drivers to park on the verge provided they left the footpath clear.
That was lenient because he could have ticketed EVERY driver there regardless of whether or not they were leaving room on the path. It is a simple fact that in order to park on the verge by driving on the footpath you commit an offence punishable ( I think ) by a minimum £30 fine and 3 points on your licence. The officer went on to say that he and his colleagues were keen to allow us to continue the pursuit of our hobby but at the same time were required to uphold the law. He intimated that it could only take a few more complaints to get the area closed completely to all vehicles.
SOOOOO.....if you drive to the 09L approach at Heathrow and park on the verge PLEASE leave the footpath clear. Be warned, the officer I spoke to was reasonable, others may not be.