We’re regularly asked, “Isn’t it going to cost a lot to implement a pavement parking ban?”
Well, in short, yes. But our Kath Shaw explains how not implementing a ban is going to cost a lot more.
Introducing a pavement parking ban will not be cheap. Practical plans and resources, including a national publicity campaign, would need to be put in place to ensure any new law was enacted efficiently.
Based on the DfT’s Impact Assessment, the cost to government of a nationwide multimedia campaign is estimated to be £3.5m in the first year and £1.75m in the second.
Then there’s the cost of signing and administering exemptions in the 294 local authorities in England excluding London. Estimates currently have this ranging between £11.1m to £44m.
However, not implementing a ban is costing a lot and the long-term benefits outweigh the initial costs.
Repairs and maintenance
Pavements aren’t designed to carry the weight of vehicles, which causes them to become cracked and damaged. £106 million was paid in compensation claims for trips and falls on the footway between 2006 and 2010 in the UK.
In addition, repairing kerbs, verges and pavements damaged by pavement parking is expensive at a time when councils continue to face huge funding pressures.
The Transport Select Committee’s report into pavement parking last year drew specific attention to the impact of pavement parking on loneliness. We know from our research that a quarter of over 65s are prevented from leaving their home because of obstructed pavements, equating to nearly 3 million people. Not only can this lead to isolation but it’s also causing inactivity.
The environment can influence people's ability to be active. The design and layout of towns and cities can enable and encourage walking and cycling. For people with limited mobility, the environment can make it particularly difficult to be active.
A survey by Guide Dogs showed that 97% of people with a vision impairment encounter problems with street obstructions, and 90% of those had experienced trouble with a pavement parked car.
By banning pavement parking, we’ll gain social inclusion benefits associated with improved accessibility.
And it’s not just inactivity amongst the older members of our community that is a problem. Fewer than half of primary school children walk to school, down from 70% a generation ago. We know from our research that one in ten parents are put off walking their child to school because of cars parking on the pavements.
Finding way for children to be more active is incredibly important at a time when one in five boys and one in six girls of primary school-age are classed as physically inactive (i.e. not meeting the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day). This is contributing to one in three children leaving primary school either overweight or obese. Creating an environment when families are able to fit exercise into their daily routines is an easy solution.
Between 2005 and 2018, 542 pedestrian deaths on Britain's roads occurred on the pavement and involved motor vehicles. We need cars off our pavements.
In DfT’s own assessment of a pavement parking ban, they listed the benefits to pedestrians and vulnerable road users as prevention of injuries or casualties caused by pavement parking, social inclusion benefits associated with improved accessibility, health benefits from walking and potentially improved townscape.
Any investment we make now will reap benefits for generations to come.