Government launches consultation on pavement parking

The Government has unveiled proposals to ban antisocial parking on pavements – with local councils potentially being given powers to stop it from happening.

Three options are proposed in the consultation – improving the traffic regulation order process to make it easier for councils to prohibit pavement parking in their areas, giving councils powers to fine drivers who park on paths, and a London-style nationwide ban on pavement parking.

However, there is still a major role for cars and other private vehicles, so any future plans will need to take this into consideration.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Parking on pavements means wheelchair users, visually impaired people and parents with pushchairs can be forced into the road, which is not only dangerous but discourages people from making journeys.

“A key part of our green, post-COVID recovery will be encouraging more people to choose active travel, such as walking, so it is vital that we make the nation’s pavements accessible for everyone.”

Pavement parking presents a safety risk when parked cars occupy the pavement and force vulnerable pedestrians to move into the road.

Disabled people say pavement parking is a significant barrier to carrying out daily journeys. Recent research from the charity Guide Dogs shows that 32% of people with vision impairments and 48% of wheelchair users were less willing to go out on their own because of pavement parking, decreasing independence and contributing towards isolation.

Stephen Edwards, director of policy and communications at Living Streets, said: “We’re regularly contacted by disabled and older people who feel trapped in their homes because there is not enough room on the pavement for wheelchairs or mobility scooters.

“This has impacted more people during the pandemic with blocked pavements affecting everyone’s ability to physically distance.”

Blanche Shackleton, head of policy, public affairs and campaigns at Guide Dogs, said: “For many people with sight loss, cars and vans parked on the pavement make our streets stressful and dangerous to navigate. At any time, you might be forced out into the road with traffic that you cannot see. When every journey is an ordeal, simply going out independently can become daunting.”

The government announced £2 billion in May to get more people walking and cycling, and £2.5 billion in the Budget towards repairing potholes.

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