The proposals are a part of an ongoing consultation for the new pavement parking law, which ends on 22 November.
What are the three different proposals?
The first proposal for parking changes is the mildest of the three. It proposes ongoing improvement to the Traffic Regulation Order process, which will make it easier for local councils to ban pavement parking in their area if they wish.
The second proposal will give local councils more powers to fine drivers who park on pavements in a given area.
Lastly, the third proposal is to impose a London-style pavement parking ban, nationwide. Currently, in the capital, drivers can be fined £70 if they park on the pavement. Though, fines are halved if they are paid within two weeks.
What are the issues with pavement parking?
The proposed pavement parking law and bans are a bid to make walking routes more accessible to all pedestrians. When cars park on pavements, they tend to obstruct the route, which for pedestrians can mean either having to find a different route, or walking into the road.
Stephen Edward, Director of Policy and Communications at Living Streets, said, “We’re regularly contacted by disabled and older people who feel trapped in their homes because there is not enough room on the pavement for wheelchair users or mobility scooters. This has impacted more people during the pandemic with blocked pavements affecting everyone’s ability to physically distance.”
In a previous study, the Guide Dogs charity found 95% of people with sight loss, and 99% of wheelchair or mobility scooter users, reported problems with pavement parking.
“Parking on pavements means wheelchair users, visually impaired people and parents with pushchairs can be forced into the road, which is not only dangerous, but discourages people from making journeys.
“A key part of our green, post-Covid recovery will be encouraging more people to choose active travel, such as walking, so it is vital that we make the nation’s pavements accessible for everyone,” said Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
Are there any cons to the pavement parking law?
Though there are obvious pros to the proposed pavement parking ban law, some still have concerns regarding it, mainly in relation to the potential “fines income” for local councils, meaning councils will benefit from the money being received via fines.
According to AA spokesperson, Jack Cousens, “A driver who deliberately parks in an obstructive manner and blocks the path of any pedestrian should expect to be punished. However, an outright ban on pavement parking could cause a series of unintended consequences.”
“Local authorities should make a street-by-street assessment and where pavement parking is allowed, markings should show how much pavement can be used. While councils have always had the powers to tackle problem parking, it would be typical if the only time they act is when there is fines income to be had from it.”
You can have your say on which proposed pavement parking ban would be best on the government website here.
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