Pavement parking – is this the beginning of the end?

Date published: 12 March 2020

New proposals to tackle pavement parking were set out today (Thursday) by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps MP.

A 12-week consultation due this summer will consider how a nationwide ban on pavement parking enforced by local authorities might work, allowing for any necessary exceptions for pavement parking where needed, and how a tailored approach may be required in rural and suburban areas.

It will also include options such as allowing authorities with civil parking enforcement powers to crack down on unnecessary obstruction of the pavement. Currently, outside London, only police have this power.

The proposals form part of the Government’s response to the Transport Select Committee’s report into pavement parking. Published last year, the report was founded on input from over 4,000 Living Streets supporters and drew specific attention to the impact of pavement parking on loneliness.

Stephen Edwards, Director of Policy and Communications, Living Streets said: “Pavement parking forces people with wheelchairs, buggies and those living with sight loss into the road and into oncoming traffic.

"The most vulnerable pedestrians continue to be put at risk of injury and isolation every day that this dangerous act continues.    

“We’re regularly contacted at Living Streets by disabled and older people who feel trapped in their homes because there isn’t enough room on the pavement for wheelchairs or mobility scooters. 

“Clear pavements need clear laws, but currently regional differences cause confusion.

"We need a nationwide default ban, with the option to allow pavement parking in certain circumstances, as is currently available in London.

"This would be much easier for everyone to understand.”

A quarter of over 65s are prevented from leaving their home because of obstructed pavements, equating to nearly 3 million people.

One in ten parents are put off walking their child to school because of cars parking on the pavements.

Only five per cent of drivers are aware of all aspects of the current law on pavement parking, which differs between London and the rest of Great Britain.

Living Streets is part of the Walking and Cycling Alliance (WACA) with Bicycle Association, British Cycling, Cycling UK, Ramblers and Sustrans.

In their joint ‘Moving the Nation’ publication, WACA sets one of its aims to ‘Prohibit pavement parking to create safer and more accessible streets.’

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