The Transport Committee has launched an inquiry to explore the problems of pavement parking in England and consider possible solutions.
‘Pavement parking’ is when one or more wheels of a vehicle are on the footpath. As well as creating obstacles for people wanting to use footpaths, councils face additional costs to repair damage to surfaces which are not designed to take the weight of motor vehicles, say MPs.
A mix of criminal and civil sanctions are available to police and local councils to enforce restrictions on pavement parking on private or commercial drivers. Parking on footways or pavements was banned in London in 1974, and it’s prohibited for large goods vehicles across England.
Lack of progress in tackling pavement parking has led many groups to campaign on the issue and although it is regularly raised with MPs by their constituents, the Government has not taken any action on this issue in recent years.
Lilian Greenwood MP, chair of the Transport Committee, said: “This is an area where some people’s actions cause real difficulties for others.
“Parking on pavements risks the safety of all groups of people from the littlest to the oldest, with differing needs.
“While we’re also inquiring into Active Travel – how we get more people to get into walking and cycling – we need to make sure it’s safe to take to the streets. We want to hear from the public about the difficulties this presents and the solutions on offer.”
The Committee is calling for written evidence on the impact of pavement parking; the enforcement of pavement parking offences; and enforcement and, if necessary, reform of traffic regulation orders need to deal with pavement parking.
The closing date to submit written evidence is 14 May 2019.
The AA has warned against a blanket ban on pavement parking. Edmund King, AA president said: “It is right that anti-social pavement parking, which prevents and restricts wheelchair users, blind and partially sighted people and pushchairs travelling around our communities must be tackled. However, a blanket ban would be a step too far.
“A street-by-street assessment is needed to decide where it may be suitable to allow pavement parking. Where pavement parking is allowed, seven out of 10 drivers say the bays should be marked out to show how much of the pavement can be used.
“Pavement parking poses problems on both inner city streets and rural lanes, so the outcome needs to be tailored to the circumstances.”
For more on the inquiry, click here.