The Government has unveiled new proposals to ban ‘antisocial’ pavement parking, a move it says will improve safety for families and people with disabilities.
Measures include improving the traffic regulation order process to make it easier for councils to prohibit pavement parking, giving councils powers to fine drivers who park on paths, and a London-style nationwide ban on pavement parking.
All three options have been put out for consultation, with views being sought until 22 November.
The Government has acknowledged there is still a major role for cars and other private vehicles, and says any future plans will need to take this into consideration.
However, it stresses pavement parking presents a clear safety risk when parked cars occupy the pavement and force vulnerable pedestrians to move into the road.
Grant Shapps, transport secretary, said: “Parking on pavements means wheelchair users, visually impaired people and parents with pushchairs can be forced into the road, which is not only dangerous but discourages people from making journeys.
“A key part of our green, post-COVID recovery will be encouraging more people to choose active travel, such as walking, so it is vital that we make the nation’s pavements accessible for everyone.”
Parking on pavements disproportionately affects people with visual or mobility impairments, those assisted by guide dogs, and wheelchair and mobility scooter users.
The Government points to research showing more than 95% of wheelchair users and people with visual impairments say they had problems with vehicles parked on pavements.
Blanche Shackleton, head of policy, public affairs and campaigns at Guide Dogs, said: “For many people with sight loss, cars and vans parked on the pavement make our streets stressful and dangerous to navigate.
“At any time, you might be forced out into the road with traffic that you cannot see.
“When every journey is an ordeal, simply going out independently can become daunting.”