Pavement Parking can be a real problem and can cause a great deal of frustration for pedestrians and road users. It can be even more problematic for those who are blind or partially sighted and for people who use wheelchairs.
The current laws on pavement parking are confusing for motorists, they can be dangerous for vulnerable road users and they are costly for councils who are having to repair damaged pavements. Progress needs to be made on this issue.
There are ways that local councils and the police can act to tackle on-street and pavement parking under the legislation governing obstruction and dangerous parking. They can designate limited areas of ‘pavement parking’ or establish special parking areas for commuters and residents in busy areas.
In 2015, the Pavement Parking (Protection of Vulnerable Pedestrians) Bill progressed to the Second Reading stage. During the debate, Labour’s Shadow Transport Minister with responsibility for buses, cycling and walking, Daniel Zeichner MP, said that “Vehicles parked on pavements are an issue particularly for vulnerable pedestrians—especially for older people, families with pushchairs, wheelchair users and people with visual or mobility impairments. We need better legislative intervention”. I was disappointed that the Bill did not progress further due to time constraints as it could have given local councils greater powers to manager parking on pavements.
The current rules are unsatisfactory for people who, like me, would like to see laws in place that would help local councils to make decisions about pavement parking more simply, with reduced costs. We need to be able to protect vulnerable pedestrians and all those who use our roads and pavements.