The Welsh Government is to give councils powers to crack down on pavement parking – but has fallen short of introducing an outright ban.
Speaking on 13 October, Lee Waters, Wales’ deputy minister for economy and transport, confirmed it is accepting all 10 recommendations of the Welsh Pavement Parking Taskforce.
The independent panel highlighted the need to give councils additional civil enforcement powers to fine problem parkers. This will come into force from July 2022.
However, it rejected an outright ban on pavement parking, which it says would be ‘slow and complex’ to implement.
Lee Waters said: “The current law is not as clear as it could be.
“There is no specific offence of parking on pavements, and although the police can enforce the existing criminal offence of causing ‘unnecessary obstruction of any part of the highway’, it is rarely enforced.
“We want more people to walk for short journeys and yet we tolerate an environment that is often not pedestrian friendly; too many routes are cluttered or blocked. A recent survey found that 83% of people in Wales view it as a real problem.
“We recognise that in some streets there are too many cars for the space available and we don’t want to penalise people who have no alternative.
“This approach lets councils target hot spots and vary its approach depending on local circumstances.”
Led by respected transport engineer Phil Jones, the Welsh Pavement Parking Taskforce was set up last summer.
Mr Jones also chaired the taskforce on 20mph local speed limits. In July the Senedd backed proposals for a 20mph default speed limit in residential areas, which the Welsh Government intends to be in force by April 2023.
Lee Waters added: “Taken together these two initiatives have real potential to save lives, and rebalance the environment in favour of pedestrians to create communities that put people before cars.”