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.