Government urged to outlaw ‘dangerous’ pavement parking

12.45 | 4 September 2018 | | 9 comments

Image: Living Streets via Twitter

A host of charities and organisations, along with nearly 17,000 member of the public, have urged the Government to outlaw ‘dangerous’ pavement parking.

In a letter published on 30 August, charities including Guide Dogs, Sustrans and Living Streets say cars parked on pavements ‘force people into the road to face oncoming traffic’ – something which is ‘particularly dangerous’ for the blind and partially sighted.

The open letter, which marks 1,000 days since ministers ‘first promised to tackle the problem of unsafe pavement parking’, challenges the Government for ‘repeatedly stalling on the issue’.

The letter adds that ‘pedestrians should be able to rely on pavements being clear and safe’.

In June, a ban on pavement parking was among measures recommended in a new manifesto published by an alliance of cycling and walking organisations – including both Living Streets and Sustrans.

Jessica Leigh, campaigns manager at Living Streets, said: “Drivers often park on the pavement without thinking about the impact on others, but can you imagine being forced to walk out into a busy road when you can’t see the traffic coming?

“A nationwide law would give clarity to drivers and keep people safe. A thousand days is a long time to wait when your safety is at risk.”

Joe Irvin, chief executive of Living Streets, said: “We’re regularly contacted by disabled and older people who are effectively trapped in their homes because there isn’t enough room on the pavement for wheelchairs or mobility aids.

“We want the law to be clear: pavement parking should not be permitted.”

Xavier Brice, CEO for Sustrans, said: “We strongly support a banning of pavement parking in England, outside of London.

“Obstructing pavements forces pedestrians out on to the streets, into the path of traffic and frequently also blocks cycle lanes. It is particularly dangerous for those who are blind and partially sighted, other less able people and people with pushchairs.

“We’re calling on the UK Government to protect our most vulnerable road users and urgently bring the ban of pavement parking across the rest of England in line with London.”

The open letter was delivered to prime minister Theresa May at 10 Downing Street on 30 August.




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    It’s easy to forget that we’re not entitled to park on the highway anyway, other than on designated areas, so the fact that some c/ways may mot be wide enough to accommodate our own individual, personal, parking requirements is unfortunate and we’ll just have to walk a bit (shock horror) and not selfishly obstruct others.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (12) | Disagree (3)

    Quite a few of the older terraced streets around the valleys in this area are not wide enough for a car to park assuming you want a bus service and the rubbish collected.

    As for parking on pavements – what pavements? (Partly tongue in cheek but true in places).

    Guzzi, Newport
    Agree (11) | Disagree (2)

    Obviously I wouldn’t be telling that to people who live in terraced housing, as they have no driveways to park on M. The terraced streets where I grew up were and still are wide enough to accommodate vehicles on both sides, without parking on the f/way and they never did – it’s a recent phenomenon. My beef is with unnecessary parking on the f/way, where there is space on the c/way, which is what this story is about.

    I live in a road now where most of the properties have driveways large enough for two vehicles but some of the residents, for some reason nevertheless still choose to park on the (wide enough) c/way, but with two wheels on the f/way – why?

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (5) | Disagree (1)

    Hugh tell that to the people who live in terraced housing. They have no parking spaces front or back. Some will park on one side of the road and that becomes understood and the norm. Others are not so lucky and they then park on both sides of the road. They are the less fortunate and usually financially poorer than persons living in a semi or detached properties with access to a drive, and garage/s.

    Agree (7) | Disagree (6)

    There is space David – it’s just that some residents don’t use it – cars parked half on the footway or wholly on it, when the properties’ driveways are empty is not an uncommon sight and as I said earlier, people have now got into the habit of parking on the f/way, even when there is space on the c/way without restricting flow. It’s not lack of space, it’s lack of thinking and consideration and with, no doubt, a little bit of “I can’t be bothered walking that far – this’ll do”.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (5) | Disagree (4)

    I’m not particularly a fan of parking on the pavement due to my past history of pushing wheelchairs around.

    But, unless these campaigners would like to put forward themselves the cash to purchase and transform land into extra car parking spaces for residents/visitors, especially in newer housing estates where little space is given for the provision of parking spaces then it isn’t going to happen – and we’ll end up with even more strife.

    David Weston, Corby
    Agree (5) | Disagree (10)

    The problem is Peter, people seem to now automatically park with two wheels on the footway regardless of how much space is left on the c/way almost as if it is mandatory – and apart from obstruction and damage – it looks terrible and is unnecessary. A campaign to remind motorists to park on the c/way against the kerb, not on it, is what’s needed.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (9) | Disagree (6)

    I don’t like pavement parking either and the current situation is long overdue to be ‘sorted’for all the reasons stated. But we need a reality check as the campaigners demands for a total ban are too simplistic and what they want simply won’t happen. The problem is more complicated and cars won’t just disappear from streets at the stroke of a legislative pen.

    Pat, Wales
    Agree (10) | Disagree (6)

    Everything in life, and on the highway, is a balance. An outright ban is not the correct approach as this brings other risks like choked narrow roads where emergency vehicles cannot pass. I am entirely sympathetic to penalising fully obstructing footways, perhaps measurable as leaving less that the width of a double buggy. However in many cases putting a small portion of a vehicle on the kerb is entirely reasonable to overall space constraints.

    Peter Whitfield, Liverpool
    Agree (8) | Disagree (12)

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