Councils are calling for a ban on pavement parking across England
Councils have called on the government to ban pavement parking across England – not just London – and penalize motorists who block footpaths, especially for vulnerable and disabled people.
The Local Government Association (LGA) says more powers should be given to local authorities to enforce parking to make streets safer and “tackle the scourge” of drivers blocking access for people using scooters, wheelchairs and children in pushchairs.
The request for enforcement powers comes more than three years after the Department for Transport concluded a consultation on pavement parking, due to which no action was taken as a result.
Parking issues: Councils want to ban pavement parking across England to prevent drivers blocking access to footpaths for the most vulnerable people, including people in wheelchairs
Often, when motorists park partially — and sometimes completely — on the sidewalk, it’s because of how narrow the road is.
By placing at least two wheels on the crosswalk, this provides more space for other vehicles to pass through tight spaces safely.
However, this often has a detrimental effect on pedestrians – especially those with mobility issues.
The LGA says elderly and disabled people, as well as parents with strollers and younger children, regularly have to navigate around vehicles parked on the pavement or across the driveway.
By doing so, it exposes these pedestrians to greater danger when entering the road and oncoming traffic.
The association says this represents the greatest danger to the blind and visually impaired.
Often times, when motorists park their cars partially on the sidewalk, it’s because of how narrow the road is. By placing at least two wheels on the crosswalk, this provides more space for other vehicles to pass through tight spaces safely. However, this is often to the detriment of pedestrians
The LGA says elderly and disabled people, as well as parents with prams and younger children, regularly have to navigate around vehicles parked on the pavement or across the driveway.
Curbside parking arguably poses the greatest risk to blind and visually impaired people
However, there is a secondary impact resulting from heavy vehicles parking on footpaths that are not designed to bear these loads.
This can cause sidewalks to crack and damage their surface, which in turn creates tripping and injury risks for pedestrians.
LGA says it also leads to costly repairs and maintenance as a result of its ever-shrinking budgets.
Pavement parking is currently only banned in London, where councils have powers to exempt some roads.
After a call from various groups, in 2020, it was done The government launched a consultation To consider extending the ban to all of England.
However, the results have yet to be announced and what changes could be made to legislation to help councils crack down on pavement parking.
Meanwhile, Scotland this year imposed a nationwide parking ban.
Local authorities can impose fines of £100 if they spot drivers parking on pavements and blocking the road to pedestrians. The fine is reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.
A consultation is also scheduled to take place in Wales on restrictions on pavement parking.
The LGA, which represents councils in England and Wales, said the rule change was “now long overdue” and would help councils meet national targets to encourage more walking and cycling, while protecting older and vulnerable people from injury.
In 2020, the DfT launched a consultation on extending the ban on pavement parking across England. However, the results have not yet been announced
London is the only place in England where it’s illegal to park a car on the pavement – even if it’s just one or two wheels up the pavement. Scotland imposed a ban this year
The LGA says there is a secondary issue with pavement parking: as well as blocking access for vulnerable pedestrians, it can also cause damage to walkways which they are responsible for repairing if they threaten to cause injury
Cllr Darren Rodwell, LGA transport spokesman, added: “Pavement parking is one of pedestrians’ biggest complaints, but three years on, councils outside of London still don’t have the powers they need to tackle this scourge.”
“Vulnerable and disabled people, including wheelchair users as well as parents using prams, are forced onto the road due to the reckless attitudes of some drivers, posing a real and potential danger to life.
“Repairing sidewalks and sidewalks damaged by curbside parking is also expensive, and this funding could be better used to repave roads and sidewalks, support local buses and provide more convenient parking.
“If we are to achieve the government’s ambition that half of all journeys in England’s towns and cities will be made by foot, wheel or cycle by 2030, it makes sense to give councils across the country the same powers as in the capital, making our streets safer and footpaths open to all. .
This Money has contacted the Department for Transport for a response.
A DfT spokesperson said: “Everyone should be able to navigate their streets unhindered, and while local authorities already have powers to ban pavement parking through local regulations, we have consulted further to help them take action.”
“A response to this will be published in due course.”
The DfT added that through traffic regulation orders using powers contained in the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and the Greater London Council (Public Powers) Act, councils can issue penalty charge notices (“parking tickets”) to offending vehicles and have the power to remove vehicles that It was parked illegally.
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