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MPs call for nationwide pavement parking ban

Mon, 09 Sep 2019

The Transport Committee has published a report which highlights the detrimental effects pavement parking can have on people with visual or mobility impairments, which can, in turn, lead to social isolation.

Pavement parking refers to when a vehicle is partially or fully parked on a pavement or footpath as opposed to on a road.

However, the Committee has found that pavement parking can be dangerous for pedestrians who use the pavement as they are forced to move into the road to get around a vehicle or where there are trip hazards due to damage to the pavement.

This issue is particularly dangerous for people with mobility or visual impairments who may feel as though they are unable to safely leave their homes or are physically prevented from doing so because of pavement parking. According to the report, this can lead to social isolation and loneliness as some people may feel unable to leave their house.

also underlined the dangers of pavement parking by showing how difficult – or even impossible – it can be for mobility scooter users to navigate around a car that is parked on a pavement.

In light of these problems, the Committee is calling on the Department for Transport to take action on pavement parking throughout England in the long-term.

The Committee recommends that the Government bans pavement parking as part of its Loneliness Strategy; rolls out a national awareness campaigning outlining the negative consequences of pavement parking; and consults on a new offence of obstructive pavement parking.

The chair of the Transport Committee, Lilian Greenwood MP, commented: “Pavement parking has a huge impact on people’s lives and their ability get around their communities.  Motorists may feel they have no choice but to park on the pavement and many try to do so in a considerate way, but evidence to our inquiry revealed the impact on those with visual and mobility impairments and people with children.

“We are deeply concerned that the Government has failed to act on this issue, despite long-standing promises to do so. 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.

“In the long-term we believe the Government should ban pavement parking across England—as is already the case in London. Local authorities could create exemptions if they choose to do so, but drivers would know that unless it was expressly permitted it was illegal to park their car on the pavement.

“We recognise that implementing a nationwide ban will take time. In the short-term we have said that they Government should make it easier for local authorities to put in place parking restrictions by removing some of the bureaucratic burdens they currently have to contend with.

“We have also recommended that the Government run an awareness campaign about the negative impacts of pavement parking, to inform drivers about the impact their behaviour has on others.”

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