Government weighs up ban on pavement parking

Consultation into parking on pavements considers three options, as practice puts people with disabilities, and others, in danger

Pavement parking

A consultation into pavement parking has been launched by the Department for Transport (DfT) in a bid to solve a problem that brings "inherent dangers for all pedestrians", particularly those with disabilities. 

Current laws prohibit parking on pavements in Greater London (Scotland also has laws in the pipeline to outlaw the practice), save for where local authorities grant exemptions (for example on narrow residential roads), but elsewhere in England the practice is legal unless explicitly prohibited.  

A Government survey to which 68 local councils responded saw 57 report pavement parking to be a "widespread problem", with councils highlighting those with visual impairments or who required mobility aids such as guide dogs and wheelchairs, were put at particular risk from vehicles parking on the pavement. People pushing children in prams and buggies were also highlighted as being adversely affected by the practice. 

Some 95 per cent of visually impaired people report encountering problems as a result of vehicles parking on footways, a figure that rose to 98 per cent for wheelchair users, almost half of whom said pavement parking made this less willing to leave the house. 

The Government is considering increasing local authority powers and current legislation to allow councils to issue £70 fines to owners whose vehicles are found to be "causing an unnecessary obstruction of the pavement".

Another option is a nationwide ban on pavement parking, although this would entail "the most significant change to English parking law in several decades", and also require all councils to conduct an audit of roads where exemptions would be required; one local authority estimated the cost of such an audit would run to £670,000. You can have your say in the consultation here.

Commenting on the consultation, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "Parking on pavements means wheelchair users, visually impaired people and parents with pushchairs can be forced into the road, which is not only dangerous, but discourages people from making journeys.

“A key part of our green, post-Covid recovery will be encouraging more people to choose active travel, such as walking, so it is vital that we make the nation’s pavements accessible for everyone.”

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, sais that while drivers "who deliberately parks in an obstructive manner and blocks the path of any pedestrian should expect to be punished", caution should be exercised with regard to an outright ban on the practice, as it could bring "a series of unintended consequences."

Cousens explained: “As we have seen over the past few weeks with road closures and narrowed roads, councils have acted with little consultation and in many cases lost confidence of the communities they serve. Local authorities should make a street-by-street assessment and where pavement parking is allowed, markings should show how much pavement can be used. While councils have always had the powers to tackle problem parking, it would be typical if the only time they act is when there is fines income to be had from it.”

Now read our guide to appealing a parking ticket here...

Recommended

Delayed trailer test law changes come into force
Mitsubishi L200 - tow
News

Delayed trailer test law changes come into force

You no longer need to take an extra test to tow a trailer, irrespective of when you passed your driving test
17 Dec 2021
Gridserve announces raft of new motorway electric car charging hubs
Gridserve Electric Forecourt 3
News

Gridserve announces raft of new motorway electric car charging hubs

Gridserve planning a total of 20 Electric Hubs and six Electric Forecourts, with 13 sites already under construction
9 Dec 2021
Stellantis plans huge revenues with new software-driven cars
Fiat 500 dash
News

Stellantis plans huge revenues with new software-driven cars

Stellantis says it’ll rake in more than €20 billion in annual revenues by 2030 thanks to its new technology and subscription services
7 Dec 2021
Company car tax guide 2021/2022: everything you need to know
Executive saloons make popular company cars
Consumer news

Company car tax guide 2021/2022: everything you need to know

Company car tax is bound up in a complex net of emissions, salaries and a car's value; we explain how the system looks for the 2021/22 Financial Year
26 Nov 2021

Most Popular

Top 10 best hybrid cars to buy 2022
Best hybrid cars - header image
Hybrid cars

Top 10 best hybrid cars to buy 2022

Hybrid power is the way forward if the car industry is to be believed so we've found the top 10 best hybrid cars to buy now...
2 Jan 2022
Volkswagen teases upcoming high performance Golf
Volkswagen Golf GTI 2022
News

Volkswagen teases upcoming high performance Golf

A more sporting Volkswagen Golf is in the works, and could sit above the GTI Clubsport and R as a hardcore special
17 Jan 2022
New 2022 Citroen C5 X: UK prices and specs revealed
Citroen C5 X - front
Citroen C5

New 2022 Citroen C5 X: UK prices and specs revealed

Petrol and plug-in hybrid power offered with new Citroen C5 X, and a premium-brand-beating price
17 Jan 2022