Parking on pavements should be BANNED, say MPs
The House of Commons Transport Committee has called for a nationwide ban on pavement parking to prevent pedestrians from being put in danger.
The move would follow the Department for Transport (Scotland) announcing its intention to ban pavement parking and double parking in 2018. In London it has been illegal to park on the kerb since the 1970s.
While it might seem an inconvenience for most pedestrians, pavement parking poses a threat to wheelchair users, those pushing prams, driving mobility scooters and people who suffer from sight problems. The report found that these vulnerable road users are “disproportionately affected” as it puts them in added danger of oncoming traffic or slip hazards.
Furthermore, the Select Committee says pavement parking can be viewed as a source of social isolation and loneliness, as it can physically prevent vulnerable road users from even leaving their home.
In summary, the report states: “We are deeply concerned about the government’s failure to act on this issue, despite long-standing promises to do so.
“We appreciate that this is a thorny problem that may be difficult to resolve to the satisfaction of all, but the government’s inaction has left communities blighted by unsightly and obstructive pavement parking and individuals afraid or unable to leave their homes or safely navigate the streets.“
The report goes on to recommend Traffic Regulation Orders and parking enforcement as the most effective deterrent against pavement parking. While the police can currently fine people for obstruction of the highway, which includes cars parked on the pavement, currently there is no clear legal definition of what is classed as an ‘obstruction’.
While the report calls on the government to legislate for a nationwide ban on pavement parking across England, it also calls on the Secretary of State for Transport to make secondary legislation which sets out exemptions that local authorities can make from a nationwide ban. This could include being allowed to park on the pavement on narrow streets to allow emergency services access.