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Call To Ban Pavement Parking To Protect Pedestrians

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.

This will make short term parking in some places much more difficult and more dangerous to traffic especially for disabled people unable to walk far. It will also affect some small local convenience stores that rely on passing traffic - people will simply drive on to the next shop that does have parking. I do understand this from the pedestrian point of view as well - unfortunately on our poorly designed roads there simply isn't an answer that works for everyone. I can only hope that the law will be tempered with common sense and in places where pavements are wider than necessary they will be cut back to provide more parking lay byes

Try and enforce or get the Police, various agencies to implement this around a Mosque or in an immigrant area? No chance. I actually complained to Leicester City Council and Leicestershire Constabulary and my MP all of whom did not want to touch the political hot potato against worshipers who park entirely on the pavement across dropped kerbs, and on zig zags, I approached all of them and they said we will not take any action on them as they use the race card. I see that they will not stand for any parking offences when it comes to Hindu, Sikh and even Christian parking violations. I mean I get a ticket for attending Church on Good Friday, with a disabled Badge, yet not one car is ever ticketed on any Friday for worshipers who attend Friday prayers at any Mosque! They can park on double yellow lines, on zig zags, entirely on the pavement without any fear. They are the law in my area.

Here in Aberdeen they just don't park on the kerbs here they actually use the hole path because there to lazy to walk around the corner to there house and when you do report them nothing is done

Agreed! Pavement parking is dangerous but how are you going solve the problem of residents parking along what used to be a lanes now doubling up as a roads with two way traffic. Cars and vehicles have got wider over the years but there has been no scope for widening the roads without demolishing the houses. This is a catch 22 situation. A case in point is Ling Road in Northumberland Heath, DA8 where parking bays have been marked onto the pavement to facilitate the flow of 2 way traffic. This road serves Erith District Hospital at one end and St Fidelis RC School at the other end. This is an old country and there is just not enough space (stretch potential) in long established residential areas of our towns and cities. So how are you going to solve a problem like “Maria”?

Interesting statement "The children can't ride bikes around the car. They have to go on the road." It seems that it has been forgotten that bikes shouldn't be ridden on pavements - they cause danger to pedestrians

An admirable initiative but any ban can only be realistically applied if passing vehicles can still safely navigate by. In most roads where vehicles part-park (normally only on one side of the street) on a kerb/pavement, it is usually because of the narrow carriageway. Ordering cars to park wholly on the road may cause accidents, damage to vehicles and even prevent emergency vehicle access. Much as I sympathise with pedestrians (particularly the elderly, disabled and those with young children), if there is an unobstructed pavement along one side of the street then until the local authority widen the roadway - or provide sufficient alternative parking - I believe it is unreasonable to penalise these vehicles unless they are causing a significant risk to pedestrian safety. Most drivers would not want to block a path anyway, through fear of getting their paintwork damaged!

A wholesale ban or leaving it to the discretion of the council is wrong (you can bet they will find a way to monetize it!). None of the examples/opinions given are facts, they are opinions and nothing more, the statistics of accidents don't bear out the argument anyway. Perhaps nationwide the law should be changed so that sufficient space should be given for the passing of a wheelchair or similar sized pram on an urban road - in the country different rules would need to apply. As for blind dogs - think that is called training them to correctly choose to pass on the inside, and not that difficult compared to what they have already amazingly learned!.

Why do people need to park on the pavement anyway. Every house in our street has a driveway but to save reversing out/in they park on the pavement, some even park across the pavement so you either walk on the road or walk through the garden that belongs to the person that parked the car. If people would all park on the one side of the road then pedestrians, children, mobility scooters/chairs and disabled with sticks/crutches etc could walk along the other pavement in safety.

I'm amazed by the car-centric comments below. Obviously the problem is that there are more cars in some places than the infrastructure can safely accommodate. There are probably a number of sensible ways to address this problem. Multi-level parking garages could be built. Permits for on-street parking could be increased in cost incrementally to dissuade car ownership where alternatives exist. But equally obviously, pavement parking should be banned. It is a danger to vulnerable road users and caters to an elite minority of car owners who become less and less bearable in our cities.

This has angered me for years and I always thought that it *was* illegal to park on the pavement. Here in Reading thoughtless motorists go one stage further - they park across designated cycle tracks and no-one seems to do anything about it. Surely that *is* illegal?

the picture at the start of this article says it all, if those cars were not partly parked on the pavement would a fire engine be able to drive through, there needs to be a bit of sensible give and take here

In many cases this problem in new developments is due to poor planning and greedy developers leaving motorists little choice but to park at least 2 wheels on the pavement. It is not a problem caused by motorists whatever the anti car brigade say.

I always thought it was illegal to ride a bike on the pavement no matter what age of the rider. strange then to say it forces people to ride around cars on the road.

Parking on the pavements is dangerous for pedestrians. It would be much fairer if councils were to provide a dedicated area for resident who do not have parking on their own property. The council could then levy a charge of say £500 per car, for non car owning residents who have car driving visitors they could be charged via a meter for dedicated spaces in the parking area. This idea would be fairer for house owners with parking available on their own property as they pay much more council tax for the convenience of parking on their own property.

WHAT A VERY GREY AREA ? in some places the councils have half on the pavement & half on the road but they still try to fine you for going over a raised kerb then if that was not enough they also put a disabled parking bay inside a bus stop as well build mini roundabout's on top of bus stops NOW THATS CRAZY

this will havoc for millions of car and home owners

I think you too have forgotten that it is already a prosecutable offence to drive any motorised vehicle on a public footpath and therefore if a vehicle is parked on a public footpath then an offence has already been committed.

Not forgotten at all - just not relevant to the comment I made. I am also aware that a further offence will be committed i.e. further driving on the pavement when the vehicle is driven off the pavement. This was pointed out to me in a discussion about pavement parking that I had with a former traffic officer.

Absolutely! Most kerb hoppers on our street have an empty drive. They park on both sides and often have more car on the pavement than on the road. Parking in their own drive seems to be too much trouble. Roads are for cars pavements are for pedestrians.

Simple solution in most cases. Introduce a one-way system with parking on one side only, & only on the road. Ticket all abusers, white, brown, black, green, whatever.

The councils are to blame for making the situation as bad as it is. When we moved into Grantham there were around eleven million vehicles on British roads and adequate free on and off road parking, now anyone with a brain to hold their ears apart would instinctively know as the number of vehicles increased so the amount of parking space would similarly need to be increased in order to maintain the status quo. It seems there isn't a single brain cell available as the county and district councils have conspired to drastically reduce the available parking space for hard pressed residents by ensuring the dreaded yellow lines decorate every street and every gap between houses and every scrap of undeveloped land is built on further increasing the pressure on residents. There wasn't a yellow line to be seen on our quiet street when we moved in. A few years later they appeared and we lost around a dozen car spaces and then a few years after that they were back again extending them and we lost another fifteen spaces and all while the number of vehicle registrations doubled. Today the number of registrations is approaching thirty million and the amount of available parking is still being reduced... It makes no sense to me and I doubt it makes sense to anyone except those with a council mentality...

Why should we pay via a meter for parking? Do we not pay road tax. This is just another council money pit.

Not all households are as fortunate as you to have their own driveway. Although I agree with pavement parking being an issue, in some cases there is no alternative.

It would only be visitors with a vehicle who would pay at the meter. As I said before residents with parking on their property (drive etc) pay a massive premium via their council tax for the privilege of parking on their own property. Therefore it would be much fairer if residents (who pay much less council tax for houses without parking) pay their share as vehicle owners and the money could be used to reduce council tax. Good idea eh.

You don't honestly think that the people running the authorities have one of those things between their ears do you?

elite minority, sorry but what century are you living in?

"Road tax" was abolished by Winston Churchill in 1937. You pay V.E.D. - Vehicle Excise Duty. It is a tax on the vehicle. The roads are paid for out of general taxation. Fact.

21st mate. You must be in the previous one. Cities are not about cars. London (and this is about pavements and cities) has little use for cars and they will soon be curious things there, thankfully. 90% of Londoners don't drive a car more than once a month. Less than 50% of Londoners own or have use of a car - that includes shared ownerships, so the number of cars/household is even lower. Car owners in London are a minority, and that minority skews to wealth. Approximately 50% of "rush hour" traffic in London is... people dropping off/picking up kids from school (often in huge 4X4s). 50%! And school kids ride the buses free! That's what I mean by a privileged elite. Fortunately, democracy works. We see the Congestion Charge spiralling upward, as it should. I'd like to see it around £100/day, with exemptions for those who actually need a vehicle. That might get precious Tiffany on a bus. And I do own a car and park it (off the pavement) in central London. I get a Resident parking permit for about £150/yr. Ridiculously cheap. Should be £1000 at least.

There are so many narrow roads where if you don't pull onto the pavement it would cause traffic to come to a stand still adding to pollution and invetiably a serious accident I fear councils will just use this to gain more revenue

You are presuming I am a car driver and my house has a drive. My comments were intended to be a suggestion regards pavement parking!!

Wherever a new pavement is built, it always is wider than the Road nowadays! Then like Sadiq Khan is shouting now, everyone says oh it's congestion, congestion & congestion!!

so you want your 3 year old child to learn to ride their bike with stabilisers on the road then?

Trouble is now we have our kids living with us owing to house prices being way to high for them to move on we have five cars in the family and even though we have a driveway their is not enough room for all the cars and living on a narrow street two wheels on the pavement is the only way to allow the traffic to pass. any suggestions on how emergency vehicles can pass? if we stop parking two wheels on the pavements its simple this policy will see people die as a result because emergency vehicles cannot pass.

Obviously not - that is the exception that proves the rule. Where I live I have come close to being knocked down by both teenagers and adults riding their bikes on the pavement. This is a dangerous practice. If children who are too young to ride bikes in the road are properly supervised I have no problem with them riding on the pavement.

this isn't about pushbikes on the pavement the subject is about cars parking two wheels on the pavement, if you want to go into a debate about who should be using the pavement you need to discuss mobility scooters travelling at an illegal 8mph instead of 4mph adults riding on the pavement to but as long as we have our offspring living at home because housing is to expensive for them to move on or they need to save up 100 grand to buy a home there will be more cars in any given street per household this will give rise to cars being parked two wheels on the pavement to allow emergency vehicles to pass in some narrow roads. Do the government want to block these roads literally so that our emergency vehicles cannot pass?

Not all streets are so narrow that cars have to park on the pavement to let emergency vehicles through. If they are, then, again, its down to commonsense that vehicles will have to park on the pavement if not doing so would compromise emergency services. But I have seen in my town even police cars parked on the pavement on a road that is wide enough for a bus to get through when cars are parked off the pavement. Its this kind of pavement parking that needs to be stopped and punished. I have a blind partner who has been injured by a vehicle being parked on the pavement. The mirrors on vans stick out a long way and are hazardous. Banning pavement parking would definitely make the pavements safer.

I get your point but if you think about it my suggestions would be of help for yourselves as you would have safe parking which you would pay for and a reduction in your council tax which would go towards the parking charge. I to have a son living at home he's happy with the situation and so are we. He's been brought up to save for a rainy day, he has ample savings for a deposit for his own property but he is still awaiting Miss Right to come along. With regards to house prices I agree with you entirely, they have been pushed up making them out of reach for a lot of people. There can be only one reason why this has happened and can only be addressed by our masters. The number of people in our country dictates the number of required houses. It's folly to think you can encourage and allow vast numbers of people to enter our country and not expect a housing shortage. Our masters are dumb!!!!!

Definitely a HUGE hazard! My poor Aunt also had this as one of her pet hates. She tapped on an offending a car window with her walking stick one day when a car was blocking her path on the pavement as she walked to post a letter in Reading where she lived happily and independently way into her 80s. The car owner was inside the car and threw open the door, knocking her to the ground. She never recovered and subsequently died. Unfortunately the car owner wasn't charged, as insisted that my Aunt had fallen by herself! Often there is no need for the car to even be on the pavement, when there is adequate space for cars, but force of habit means the driver still mounts the curb! Its time this practice was taken seriously throughout the UK, and pavements can be reclaimed as originally intended - for pedestrians!