Pavement parking poses a threat to our pavements.
It might seem trivial, but it impacts on the day to day lives of a diverse range of your constituents, from older adults and disabled people, to parents and their young children.
If we want people to walk more, they must feel comfortable doing so. That is why we must tackle pavement parking.
Living Streets has now been campaigning for a meaningful way of tackling pavement parking for more than half of its lifetime. And we do not intend to give up any time soon.
After all, we are making progress. Scotland has already passed a law banning it nationwide. Wales is planning to regulate it through unnecessary obstruction rules. And, as you will know, the DfT has consulted people in England on a London-style ban for the rest of the country.
However, since the consultation closed more than a year again, we have heard nothing.
Our open letter, signed by a broad coalition of partner organisations, calls for Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, to let us know the state of play and to get the wheels in motion again.
Dear Secretary of State
We were pleased to support the government’s consultation in November 2020 on managing pavement parking. The problem of pavement parking is a longstanding issue and action is now long overdue.
We now have an opportunity to make progress on this problem - doing nothing is not an option. A year on from the close of the consultation, we urge you to move forward with introduction of legislation to introduce a London-style pavement parking prohibition throughout England, as in Scotland. Only a default prohibition, with appropriate exemptions, like in London, will send the signal that pavement parking is unacceptable.
Vehicles parking on the pavement causing an obstruction and damaging footway surfaces is an urgent problem and discriminates against pedestrians, especially for those with young children, older people and those with visual or mobility impairments, and is an issue that has attracted attention for over forty years. It will be more difficult for the Government to meet its own targets of half of all journeys walked and cycled by 2030 when pavement parking makes walking so hard for so many.
Every day, parents and children are putting themselves at risk because of pavement parking. New 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.
Scotland has led the way with the introduction of legislation in 2019 for a nationwide prohibition on pavement parking, and the Welsh Government also plans to regulate pavement parking, through unnecessary obstruction.
Change in England is long overdue, and your department has moved forward positively by consulting on this issue. We urge you now to join with other nations of the UK in making our pavements safer and fit for purpose for all road users.