We very much welcome the government’s consultation on dealing with pavement parking. This is the culmination of many years of campaigning by national transport groups and disability groups, as well as local campaigning by us and others.
Parking of cars on pavements is a scourge which can be seen all around the city. It makes it difficult for people walking, using buggies, using wheelchairs and mobility scooters, and people with visual impairments. It damages pavements, and in general treats other road users with a lack of courtesy. It causes injuries and deaths of people walking, particularly children, as a result of drivers trying to park their cars on the pavement.
We have highlighted cases of pavement parking over many years and the issues with enforcement. The police have failed to take action to address pavement parking – witness the consistent blocking of pavements day-in, day-out on East Road merely 100 metres away from the police station, for instance. Pavement parkers know that they will generally get away with it, because the council are currently unable to enforce it.
Similarly, we have advocated for the removal of other obstructions from pavements, such as poles, badly-placed cycle parking, and temporary signs. These should instead use the main carriageway space.
The government’s consultation offers three options for change. We believe that the government should simply extend to the rest of the country the existing sensible rules present in London, enabling enforcement by parking attendants. This is option 3 in the consultation.
Where there are specific places in the city where pavement parking is unavoidable, these exceptions should be democratically debated and result where necessary in marked bays, and properly enforced to ensure that those using wheelchairs, mobility scooters and child buggies can still get past.
We encourage residents to respond positively to the government’s consultation and to support option 3 (by going to gov.uk and searching for ‘pavement parking’). In the meanwhile, we continue to ask why the police are not doing more to keep pavements clear for pedestrians.