Inconsiderate motorists who are mounting kerbs and parking on the pavement could be soon banned form doing so and face a £70 fine.
The Department for Transport is now ‘examining pavement parking outside London’ as part of its cycling and walking investment strategy.
The Local Government Association wants the DoT to act and give councils powers to enforce a ban, saying pavement parking is putting pedestrians at risk.
Drivers who park on the kerb force those on foot – including parents with pushchairs and those on mobility scooters – on to the road to walk around the obstruction. This can be extremely dangerous, especially for the blind and people with guide dogs.
The LGA hopes that the pavement parking ban which has been in force across London since 1974 will soon be extended outside the capital.
The law that is currently in force in London’s 33 boroughs states that: “You must not park partially or wholly on the pavement in London. Parking on the pavement can obstruct and seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and people with prams or pushchairs.”
Outside of the capital, the situation is very different with drivers only prohibited from parking on double or single yellow lines or where local signs indicate pavement parking will cause an obstruction.
While it is illegal to drive on the pavement throughout England, Wales and Scotland this is rarely enforced for people parking on the kerb, often because authorities fear that the parking problem will just be displaced elsewhere.
Local authorities who want to stop pavement parkers claim existing Traffic Regulation Orders mean they have to catch people as they park, which is time-consuming, bureaucratic and expensive.Martin Tett, transport spokesman at the LGA, which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, said: “It’s a nonsense that those outside London do not have more control to stop pavement parking.
Local authorities need this power to respond to concerns raised by their communities, for example if a street is becoming dangerously congested or pedestrians are being forced to step out into the street to get round parked vehicles.”This is particularly dangerous for blind or partially sighted people and mums and dads with prams.”
The LGA believes that if a fine was implemented, the money raised from it could be used to repair kerbs, verges and pavements damaged by vehicle tyres.
Charity Living Streets, previously the Pedestrians’ Association, is also campaigning for a nationwide ban.
It says: “Pavements are for people to walk on.
“Vehicles parked on the footway can cause an obstruction and inhibit the independence of many vulnerable people, especially older or disabled people with visual or mobility impairments.
“And when pedestrians, for example families with pushchairs, are forced into the road and into oncoming traffic, pavement parking is simply dangerous.
“Pavements are not designed to carry the weight of vehicles, and the added maintenance cost of repairing cracked and damaged paving adds an unnecessary financial burden to already cash-strapped councils.
“We should all be able to walk on pavements without worrying about vehicles blocking our way.
“That’s why Living Streets is calling for UK-wide action on pavement parking.”
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