by simongalton on 17 April, 2015
One of the more common complaints I get as a councillor is about vehicles parking on pavements. On narrow roads where there isn’t much room for cars to park either side, it can be quite common for drivers to park their vehicles partially on the pavement. This can often be very frustrating for pedestrians who find their space narrowed, or sometimes the entire path blocked altogether. It tends to be particularly obstructive for those using pushchairs and wheelchairs.
What can be Done?
As mentioned before, I have received numerous complaints on this issue and so have spoken with officers from the County Council Transport department to see if a solution could be found to prevent people from parking on pavements where this causes problems for pedestrians.
It turns out that the Council have the powers to prevent pavement parking by using Traffic Regulation Orders to ban it in certain areas. This is the approach that Leicester City Council is taking which will allow them to fine drivers that park on pavements in the small number of areas they have chosen to target.
However this approach has drawbacks.
Establishing the TRO can be a slow and expensive process that only covers a small area. After public notices and consultations have been done, signs and markings will need to be placed in the area being enforced.
Using a TRO can enforce pavement parking problems in small, targeted areas, but aren’t so suited to tackling the wider problem.
Other ways to Address the Problem
In 1987, Exeter City was permitted to create a bye-law that allowed a blanket ban of pavement parking across the city. However, use of bye-laws for this purpose is no longer supported by the Secretary of State so councils do not currently have this option.
The 2004 Traffic Management Act gave London councils powers to enforce against pavement parking, but this has not yet been extended to the rest of the country.
In July last year, Lib Dem MP Martin Horwood put forward a private members bill that would make pavement parking a civil offense across the country. Unfortunately, the second reading of the bill was delayed until after parliament broke up for the election, and the bill will not progress any further.
I am hoping to see Martin returned to parliament in May and hope that he will continue to campaign on this issue.
In the meantime, if you feel you have particularly bad problems due to pavement parking in your area, please get in contact and I will speak with County officers to see what can be done.Leave a comment