MPs demand ban on pavement parking

Pavement parking is already banned in London

Monday, September 9, 2019

A cross-party group of MPs have called for a nationwide effort to stop the “blight” of car parking on pavements.

The Transport Committee said they had heard cases where disabled, elderly and vulnerable people had been effectively trapped by narrow pavements and were “afraid to leave their homes”.

The group has now released a report which recommends a ban on pavement parking across England, with councils given the power to crack down on “anti-social parking behaviour”.

Pavement parking has been banned in London since the 1970s and the Scottish Parliament is already considering as similar move.

Labour MP Lilian Greenwood chairs the Transport Committee and accused the government of reneging on a long-standing promise to resolve the issue.

"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,” she said.

The Committee said it would “take time” to implement a widespread ban, and called for the government to launch an awareness campaign to teach drivers about the “negative impacts” of pavement parking.

Local Government Association spokesman David Renard said councils would welcome new powers to prevent pavement parking.

“We urge government to bring forward legislation to ban pavement parking, with councils able to create exemptions if they want to, and steps to facilitate a transition to a new law, at the earliest opportunity,” he said.

The Department for Transport said it recently concluded a review into pavement parking and ministers will be “considering our next steps” in the coming months.

The issue has generated strong debate online, with many people sharing how they were affected by pavement parking.

One Twitter user said she is blind, and faced “such abuse” when she told a driver of the “difficult situation” pavement parking put her in.

However, another highlighted that bin lorries would struggle to get past if pavement parking was banned, posing the question: “Have you thought this through?”.

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