Parking on pavements could land motorists with a £70 fine under government plans to declutter the roadside.
The Department for Transport (DfT) told the Times it was considering new laws to prevent vehicles blocking paths and causing difficulties for wheelchair users, people with pushchairs and blind pedestrians.
The move could allow councils to make it illegal to park on the kerb with offenders facing fines of £50 or £70, the Times reported.
The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, says all councils need extra flexibility to introduce bans if needed.
The cost of repairing kerbs, verges and pavements damaged by pavement parking is expensive – the money spent on this would be used to plug the £12 billion roads repair bill we currently face as a nation said Transport spokesman for the Local Government Association (LGA) Cllr Martin Tett.
The ban on pavement parking has been in place in London for the past 40 years. Under existing measures, motorists are barred from pavement parking unless expressly permitted by a council in the capital.
However, outside London mounting the kerb is generally allowed apart from where vehicles are causing an obstruction, for example forcing some vehicles to wait while others pass, or on roads with other restrictions such as double-yellow lines.
Local authorities can use existing Traffic Regulation Orders to ban pavement parking on certain roads but it is a time-consuming, expensive and bureaucratic process.
Watch as one plucky pedestrian refused to put her own life at risk because of some #SWBrumPantsParking outside the excellent Black Lab in #KingsHeath
Selfish and dangerous
During the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government, regional and Local Transport Minister, Norman Baker, announced on the 21st February 2011, that the government was trying to make it easier for councils to tackle pavement parking and stop it causing an obstruction to pedestrians. He said: “Parking on the pavement can be selfish and dangerous, putting pedestrians – especially those with disabilities or using pushchairs – in danger.
He added: “If a vehicle is blocking the pavement then people often have no choice but to walk in the road where they are at much greater risk of being involved in an accident.
“Most drivers are considerate and do not park on the pavement unless it is permitted or necessary. However, there is a selfish minority who do not use their common sense and dump their cars wherever it suits them without a second thought for others.”
Banning pavement parking
The Transport spokesman for the Local Government Association (LGA) Cllr Martin Tett said that local authorities need the power to respond to concerns raised by their communities – noting the particular dangers for blind or partially-sighted people and mums and dads with prams.
Adding: “Pavement parking and damaged pavements is one of the biggest complaints from pedestrians. Councils would carefully consult with communities before banning pavement parking and this is done sparingly in response to concerns which they have raised. This will enable them to better protect vulnerable pedestrians and provide a more consistent approach for all road users.”
What readers on B31 Voices said
Anon: “It shouldn’t need to be said, but can people please refrain from parking on drop curbs! If someone’s in a wheelchair and you block that drop curb, it makes it completely impossible for them to get across the road. Today I saw a car outside the residential home on Manor Park Grove, parked fully across the drop curb. Luckily I wasn’t using my wheelchair like I sometimes do, but if I had been I would have been stuck. Use your brain!”
Sally: “So inconsiderate!! It happens all the time in my road. To the point where people without a pushchair or wheelchair or stick have to all in the road!!! Traffic wardens need to do MORE!!!”
Kerry: “How do you know it wasn’t an emergency? Some people are too quick to judge and pass comment!”
Clare: “I’m getting so fed up with stupid little minded people that think its ok to park on a path outside a school so me and my little baby in a pram have to walk in the road”