Plans for a possible pavement parking ban in England must not impact commercial vehicles making deliveries and should also ensure roads don’t become blocked for emergency vehicles.
The plans were set out earlier this week in a newly launched government consultation that could see drivers face a £70 ban when bumping wheels up on the kerb. At present, pavement parking is only banned in London and will be outlawed in Scotland from 2021.
But three new options are being proposed – improving the traffic regulation order process to make it easier for councils to prohibit pavement parking in their areas, giving councils powers to fine drivers who park on paths, and a London-style nationwide ban on pavement parking.
A ban on pavement parking has long been called for and a House of Commons Transport Committee enquiry a year ago set out that pavement parking creates real problems, including for those with visual difficulties and who use mobility aids as well as those who need to navigate footpaths with children.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Parking on pavements means wheelchair users, visually impaired people and parents with push chairs 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.”
It’s a move already being welcome by those championing the rights of the disabled and parents using pushchairs.
But Logistics UK, formerly the FTA, has expressed concerns. Natalie Chapman, head of urban policy at Logistics UK, commented: “Logistics UK’s members agree that pavements are for pedestrian use first and foremost – their safety and access must come first – and this is particularly important for vulnerable groups such as wheelchair and pushchair users and for the blind and partially sighted. But we must also ensure the government considers the needs of logistics in its decision=making to ensure that goods can keep moving efficiently and effectively through our towns and cities.
“For example, the Government must ensure a pavement parking ban does not further narrow residential streets where cars currently park partially on the pavement, as it could prevent access for refuse collection vehicles, home deliveries and emergency services. In addition, there will be occasions where commercial vehicles need temporary pavement access for loading or unloading goods to prevent blocking the road to passing traffic. We will be submitting a response to the consultation to ensure the government’s strategy takes these situations into account and puts appropriate exemptions in place.”
And the AA has said it has concerns about how the ban would be carried out and said that local authorities should make a street-by-street assessment and where pavement parking is allowed, markings should show how much pavement can be used.
To access the consultation, click here.