Motorists complain as councils fail to tackle pavement parking in the UK
Pavement parking is a major inconvenience to vulnerable members of society.
A car parked on the pavement could force a parent with a pushchair, a blind person or someone wheelchair bound into the road to avoid the obstruction.
This can be incredibly dangerous but also terrifying for the person affected by it.
A ban on pavement parking has been in place since the 1970s in London.
This is outlined in the Highway Code which states that “You MUST NOT park partially or wholly on the pavement in London.”
Motorists flouting this rule can be handed a £70 fine.
However, across the country there is no official pavement parking ban and the Highway Code merely uses advisory language about motorists across the rest of the country.
It states that motorists “should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it.”
Councils across the country did, however, state last year that measures would be put in place to crackdown on offences.
Yet more and more drivers parking on pavements appear to be going unpunished.
Liverpool council outlined a citywide clampdown on offences.
It stated that it would be bringing in bans and fines to some of the most affected areas under new plans.
Drivers caught parking on the pavement in London can be fined £70
At the time, Councillor Steve Munby said to the Liverpool Echo: “We believe we can make inroads in the worst areas by drawing up a list which we can then target repeatedly to send a strong message out that we won’t tolerate it.”
Yet the council appears to be backtracking on these plans and opting for ‘behavioural change’ to try and stamp out offence .
Interim assistant highways manager Jayne Black told the regeneration and sustainability select committee the measures it was exploring to tackle the ban, last week.
She said: “We have taken a step back and considered the best way to approach this.
“We are looking at a behavioural change campaign campaign – that will now precede any enforcement we do.”
Elsewhere, Bristol Council has also been accused of not giving pedestrians the priority.
A pedestrian campaigner with Bristol Living Streets says that pavement parking “impacts on quality of life”.
He said: “The police and city council are pointing at each other saying ‘well that’s their problem to sort out’ as a way of getting themselves off the hook and no one wants to grasp the thorny issue because it’s going to annoy motorists so the people who lose are pedestrians, people with disabilities and people with pushchairs.
“That’s the situation and it needs resolving.
Councils are still failing to implement bans
“From a pedestrian point of view it’s not only an inconvenience, it’s a danger and it impacts on quality of life.
“To be specific, the inconvenience comes from not being able to access the foot way and having to walk in the road which itself is a danger.”
Council staff in Cornwall were also recently criticised after council workers parked on the pavement and noble yellow lines.
Residents complained that drivers would be fined but the staff got away with it.
The council defended the move by the workers.
Cornwall Council, which owns Cornwall Housing, said: “The Cornwall Housing team needed to park close by in order to deliver bulky items to a property currently being renovated.
“They are fully aware that providing there are no loading restrictions also in place, vehicles are allowed to stop on double yellow lines to load or unload.
“This is clearly what is happening in this situation. We even had three people present to minimise the time taken to unload, and the van was moved as soon as the task was completed.”
In addition to this, a mother in Guisborough, in the North East of England said that a van parked on the pavement caused her problems as she couldn’t get past with her pushchair.
She said to Teesside Live: “I tried to get my pushchair through but there was no way it would fit and I couldn’t see around the van as it was so big, so had to edge out on to the road with the pushchair, which is really dangerous as Stokesley Road is so busy especially at that time on a morning.”
Earlier this year, Living Streets, which has been campaigning for a pavement parking ban for years took the campaign to Downing Street.
The letter stated: “Cars parked on pavements force people into the road to face oncoming traffic, which is particularly dangerous for many, including blind and partially sighted people, parents with pushchairs and young children, wheelchair users and others who use mobility aids.
“Pedestrians should be able to rely on pavements being clear and safe.”
Guide Dogs campaigns manager Jessica Leigh said urgent action was needed to crackdown on pavement parking offences.
She added: “Drivers often park on the pavement without thinking about the impact on others, but can you imagine being forced to walk out into a busy road when you can’t see the traffic coming?
“A nationwide law would give clarity to drivers and keep people safe.
“A thousand days is a long time to wait when your safety is at risk.”