Local Government Association makes its case to make it easier for authorities to ban parking on the pavement.
Pavement parking already banned in London
Local authorities throughout England and Wales require further powers to ban parking on the pavement to minimise risk to pedestrians, The Local Government Association argued. Excluding London, such parking is “generally allowed” unless vehicles cause obstruction, or there are restrictions such as double-yellow lines.
The Local Government Association represents the interests of more than 370 authorities. Its Transport Spokesman, Councillor Martin Tett explained: "Councils in the capital have been able to ban pavement parking for many years. It seems a nonsense that Local Authorities outside London remain unable to do this”, he suggested.
Why pavement parking is dangerous
The Association pointed to news reports to strengthen its case. A child minder from Worcester, in Worcestershire, claimed children are at risk in Slade Avenue, for example. Caroline Rouse, 49, said:
“The children can't ride bikes around the car. They have to go on the road. Cars turn around all the time (and) it's dangerous for children to go in the road. I'm also a child minder and I can't pass with the pram - I have to go on the road”, Ms Rouse concluded.
Councillor Louis Stephen shared such concerns. He added: "It's not just parents with pushchairs. There are quite a lot of people affected by cars parking on pavements. Examples are people with mobility scooters and blind people with a guide dog. Dogs try to avoid the parked cars and actually lead the blind person into the road."
Local news confirmed there are similar concerns in Rayleigh, Essex. Police and Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst, was told at a public meeting that “someone is going to be killed eventually”. The resident added: It’s becoming a habit in the community. If you go out on any road there is some twit that is 2-thirds on a pavement.”
Damage to pavements
The Association added that such parking damages kerbs, verges and pavements. Repairs are: “Expensive at a time when councils continue to face huge funding pressures as a result of further cuts to funding from Government”, Transport Spokesman Martin Tett revealed.
“The money spent on this would be better used to plug the £12 billion roads repair bill we currently face as a nation”, he added.
Powers would be used carefully
Mr Tett confirmed that any powers to ban parking on the pavement would be used selectively. "Councils would carefully consult with communities before banning pavement parking - and this is done sparingly in response to concerns which they have raised. This will enable them to better protect vulnerable pedestrians”, Tett argued.