Four national organisations have written to Jesse Norman MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Transport, urging him to prohibit pavement parking across England and Wales after years of inaction from the Government.
Living Streets, Guide Dogs, the British Parking Association and the Local Government Association (LGA) have co-authored a letter highlighting the danger pavement parking poses to vulnerable pedestrians. People living with sight loss or mobility issues, and parents with buggies are at particular risk when vehicles are parked on the pavement as they’re forced onto the road and into oncoming traffic.
Pavement parking is currently prohibited in London. In 2015 Simon Hoare MP tabled a Private Members’ Bill to extend the law to bring the rest of England and Wales in line with London. The Bill was withdrawn in December 2015 when the Government promised to review current legislation and assess the implications of changing it. Two years on, this review has not taken place.
After a roundtable event in March 2016, the commitment to undertake research into addressing pavement parking was downgraded into a survey of traffic regulation orders (TROs).
Joe Irvin, Chief Executive, Living Streets said: “Pavements are for people, not vehicles. As well as being dangerous, vehicles parking on pavements can actually stop people being able to use their streets at all.
“We’re regularly contacted by disabled and older people who are effectively trapped in their homes because there isn’t enough room on the pavement for wheelchairs or mobility scooters. It is also often a problem on the way to school. Streets that are accessible for all are better for everyone.
“There need to be tougher and clearer laws on pavement parking. The Government should stop stalling and bring forward the legislation which has been in the pipeline for some time now.”
James White, Senior Campaigns Manager, Guide Dogs said, “Parking on pavements is blighting Britain’s streets. It puts all pedestrians in danger, but particularly those living with sight loss. It is terrifying for someone who cannot see oncoming traffic to have to take the risk of stepping out into a road just because someone has decided to park on the footway. We’re calling on the Government to end this dangerous practice."
Councillors Martin Tett, LGA’s Transport spokesman, said, “Irresponsible parking can force pedestrians to step out into the street to get around parked vehicles. This is particularly challenging for parents with prams, or blind or partially-sighted people, or people with mobility difficulties.
“Councils would like to have the option for a default ban, with the ability to allow pavement parking in certain circumstances, as is currently available in London. This would be simple and easy for everyone to understand.
“Councils would carefully consult with communities on the best parking provision for their area. This move could enable local authorities to better protect vulnerable pedestrians and provide a more consistent approach for all road users.”