The government has opened a consultation into whether pavement parking should be prohibited across England, as is currently the case in London.
Three options in the consultation launched today (31 August 2020) include: a London-style nationwide ban on pavement parking; improving the traffic regulation order process to make it easier for councils to prohibit pavement parking in their areas; and giving councils powers to fine drivers who park on pavements.
Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking has been campaigning for an end to pavement parking, and last year welcomed a new ruling in Scotland banning vehicles from parking on pavements.
The charity believes all options in the consultation are steps in the right direction but that a nationwide default ban, with the ability to allow pavement parking in certain circumstances, would be much simpler to enact and easier for everyone to understand.
The government’s consultation comes after they responded to the Transport Select Committee’s report in March (2020). The TSC report was founded on input from over 4,000 Living Streets supporters and drew specific attention to the impact of pavement parking on loneliness and recommended that, in the long term, Government legislate for a nationwide ban on pavement parking across England, outside London.
Living Streets is part of the Walking and Cycling Alliance (WACA) with Bicycle Association, British Cycling, Cycling UK, Ramblers and Sustrans. In their joint ‘Moving the Nation’ publication, WACA set one of its aims to ‘Prohibit pavement parking to create safer and more accessible streets.’
The consultation has also been welcomed by Guide Dogs.
Stephen Edwards, Director of Policy and Communications, Living Streets said:
“Pavement parking forces people with wheelchairs, buggies and those living with sight loss into the road and into oncoming traffic.
“We’re regularly contacted at Living Streets by disabled and older people who feel trapped in their homes because there isn’t 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.
“A green and sustainable recovery from Covid-19 relies on our streets being clear and safe. It’s time we follow the lead set by London and Scotland and kick pavement parking to – and off – the kerb for good.”
The walking charity is urging people to respond to the consultation by visiting www.livingstreets.org.uk/pavementparking2020