End pavement parking in England
WHEN WILL WE SEE THE END OF PAVEMENT PARKING IN ENGLAND?
22 November 2023 marks the third anniversary of the closure of the DfT’s pavement parking consultation – that's 1,095 days of waiting for a response and action on a vital issue.
This delay has been followed by the news that the Transport Bill will not be published for the foreseeable future. This means that three years on from the consultation closing, we are no closer to a nationwide, legislative ban on pavement parking.
We marked this day by delivering a petition – in the form of an anniversary card – to 10 Downing Street, to voice our concerns over this unprecedented delay. Sign up for our emails at the bottom of the page to be the first to hear if we get a response.
THE CONSULTATION WAS WON THANKS IN NO SMALL PART TO THE THOUSANDS OF LIVING STREETS SUPPORTERS WHO SENT US THEIR THOUGHTS ON PAVEMENT PARKING IN SPRING 2019
The following June, our Policy and Research Manager, Dr Rachel Lee, went before the Transport Select Committee to give oral evidence on the impact on pedestrians of pavement parking.
In her evidence she included several of the thousands of personal testimonies we received from our supporters - the power of which was noted by members of the committee afterwards.
You can watch the session in full in our video here.
WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?
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. YouGov polling commissioned by Living Streets found that 62% of adults over 65 in England were worried about obstructions on the pavement.
Every day, parents and children are putting themselves at risk because of pavement parking. Polling commissioned by Living Streets indicates that 87% of parents have had to walk into the road because of pavement parking and that 80% would be more likely to walk their child to school if there wasn’t pavement parking. Moreover, a Living Streets FOI request (2018) found that 93% of local authorities in England have received complaints from members of the public about pavement parking.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
We welcomed the nationwide ban on pavement parking in Scotland announced in 2019. Between Covid-19 and concerns over the breadth of exemptions councils are allowed to make, implementation of the ban has been delayed. Living Streets Scotland is working hard to ensure the Scottish Government gets the ban right. In Wales, the Welsh Government has proposed changes that will allow local authorities to enforce against pavement parking where it is causing an unnecessary obstruction to people on the pavement. English residents should not be left behind – it is time for a legislative ban on pavement parking in England.
Any ban should allow for local authorities to exempt certain streets, but start from the point that pavement parking is banned by default, rather than the free for all we have at present. A legislative ban should also be accompanied by an awareness raising campaign highlighting the damage and distress caused by anti-social pavement parking.
At present, parking on pavements is partly covered by both criminal and civil law and a YouGov poll commissioned by Guide Dogs found only 5% of drivers understood the law in this area. A legislative ban would provide a clear signal to drivers not to park in the footway, minimising confusion and giving pavements back to pedestrians.
We are calling on the government to publish the long overdue response to the pavement parking consultation, and at the same time make it easier for local authorities to take action in their areas by introducing civil parking enforcement powers to enforce against ‘unnecessary obstruction of the pavement'. This should be followed swiftly by clear action in the form of a legislative ban as soon as parliamentary time allows.
We did it! Scotland has voted to introduce a nationwide ban on pavement parking.
Welsh Government is investigating ways to clamp down on pavement parking in Wales. And Living Streets is on the task force.