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Councils push Government to ban pavement parking across England

By Mathilda Bartholomew | February 13, 2024

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The Local Government Association (LGA) is advocating for increased authority for local bodies to enforce parking regulations, addressing the issue of drivers impeding access for those in mobility devices and parents with young children

Councils push Government to ban pavement parking across England

Councils are urging the Government to implement a nationwide ban on pavement parking throughout England, extending beyond London, and to penalise drivers obstructing footpaths, particularly affecting vulnerable and disabled individuals. The Local Government Association (LGA) is advocating for increased authority for local bodies to enforce parking regulations, addressing the issue of drivers impeding access for those in mobility devices and parents with young children.

This call for enhanced enforcement powers comes more than three years after the Department for Transport concluded a pavement parking consultation with no subsequent action. While pavement parking is often a result of narrow roads, providing more space for vehicles, it poses risks for pedestrians, especially those with mobility challenges. The LGA highlights the difficulties faced by older and disabled individuals and parents navigating around vehicles on the pavement, increasing the risk of accidents and injuries.

The association emphasises the heightened danger for visually impaired individuals and the detrimental effects of heavy vehicles on footpaths, causing damage, cracking, and creating hazards for pedestrians. Additionally, repairing such damages strains local budgets. Currently, pavement parking is prohibited only in London, where councils can grant exemptions for certain roads.

Despite a 2020 consultation to extend the ban across England, no official announcement has been made, in contrast to Scotland, which has implemented a nationwide parking ban. As of January 2024, Scottish local authorities can impose fines of £100 on drivers parking on pavements, reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days. A consultation on pavement parking restrictions is also anticipated in Wales.

The LGA's plea for a nationwide ban aligns with concerns raised by green transport advocates about increasing vehicle widths, particularly mega SUVs, affecting on-street parking and cyclist safety. The LGA asserts that rule changes are overdue and that additional enforcement powers will help councils meet national targets for promoting walking and cycling while safeguarding vulnerable individuals.

Councillor Darren Rodwell, transport spokesperson for the LGA states, 'Pavement parking is one of the biggest complaints from pedestrians, but three years on, councils outside of London still do not have the powers they need to tackle this scourge.

'Vulnerable and disabled people, including wheelchair users as well as parents with pushchairs are forced into the road due to some drivers' inconsiderate parking, presenting a real hazard and potential danger to life.

'Repairing kerbs and pavements damaged by pavement parking is also expensive and this funding could be better used to resurface our roads and pavements, support local buses and provide more suitable parking.

'If we are to meet the Government's ambition for half of all trips in England's towns and cities to be walked, wheeled or cycled by 2030, then it makes sense to give councils across the country the same powers as in the capital, making our streets safer and footpaths open for everyone.'

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