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Councils call for ban on pavement parking

Laws allowing local authorities to ban pavement parking in London should be rolled out across the country, councils say.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, says all councils need extra flexibility to introduce bans if needed. This could free up congested pavements and stop pedestrians – particularly the blind and parents with prams and babies – from having to walk out into roads and risk their lives, it said.

A ban on pavement parking has already been in place in the capital for the past 40 years. Under existing measures, motorists are barred from pavement parking unless expressly permitted by a council in the capital.

However, outside London mounting the kerb is generally allowed apart from where vehicles are causing an obstruction, for example forcing some vehicles to wait while others pass, or on roads with other restrictions such as double-yellow lines. Local authorities can use existing Traffic Regulation Orders to ban pavement parking on certain roads but it is a time-consuming, expensive and bureaucratic process.

LGA transport spokesman Cllr Martin Tett said: "Councils in the capital have been able to ban pavement parking for many years and it seems a nonsense that local authorities outside London remain unable to do this.

"Local authorities need this power to respond to concerns raised by their communities, for example if a street is becoming dangerously congested or pedestrians are being forced to step out into the street to get round parked vehicles. This is particularly dangerous for blind or partially-sighted people and mums and dads with prams.

"Pavement parking and damaged pavements is one of the biggest complaints from pedestrians. In addition, repairing kerbs, verges and pavements damaged by pavement parking is expensive at a time when councils continue to face huge funding pressures as a result of further cuts to funding from government. The money spent on this would be better used to plug the £12 billion roads repair bill we currently face as a nation. 

"Councils would carefully consult with communities before banning pavement parking and this is done sparingly in response to concerns which they have raised. This will enable them to better protect vulnerable pedestrians and provide a more consistent approach for all road users."

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  • John - 28/03/2017 11:47

    I understand that causing an obstruction is wrong, but where/how do they expect cars to park in a lot of streets across the country? If they didn't put two wheels just onto the pavement, the streets would be blocked to anything but a micro car with the amount of cars we have now. Emergency services wouldn't be able to get through, especially fire appliances. Will the councils therefore need to ban parking on a lot of residential streets altogether?! Not every motorist has access to a wide road, garage or driveway.

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  • Iain - 28/03/2017 21:51

    Here we go again, councils totally oblivious to their own actions which cause the problem in the first place as they just cannot see past this endless public transport is the answer mentality. When oh when will someone see sense and look holistically at the actual NEEDS of the country, the NEED for flexibility for commuters and the NEEDS of business to function effectively and more importantly COST EFFECTIVELY unlike our councils and public transport!! There are endless opportunities to facilitate a structured road system with local, low cost parking facilities to accommodate the tens of thousands of vehicles which actually make our country work efficiently. Scrap the bus lanes, scrap the public transport agenda and, just for once, get traffic moving effectively to improve productivity and air quality!

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  • Vincent Edwards - 28/03/2017 22:12

    A lot of housing estates built after 1920 and particularly after 1945 have front gardens large enough to park three cars, and often these gardens have hard standings. Yet motorists apparently find it too much trouble to use their private off-street parking and abandon their vehicles on any convenient pavement. Often both pavements are blocked and the road space between lines of pavement-parked vehicles is insufficient for a fire engine to pass between. Pavement parking can actually cause obstruction of the road. Most pavement parking is the result of laziness and lack of consideration for others, rather than any "necessity".

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  • jaunty angle - 07/04/2017 13:11

    I feel there's a need for joined up thinking here; planning permissions for modern housing developments are purposefully drawn up to provide insufficient parking, often only one car per household, to "help discourage dependence on cars". But just look at any modern development after 7pm, it's chaotic and dangerous for drivers, pedestrians and children alike. This madness is government and local authority policy, perhaps so they can generate additional revenue from parking fines, but the result is housing developments that are not fit for purpose.

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