With a blanket ban in the pipeline, is it time to put pavement parking to bed?
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Yes – Cllr Martin Tett – Transport spokesman, Local Government Association
Irresponsible parking can force pedestrians to step out into the street to get around parked vehicles. This is particularly challenging and dangerous for parents with prams, or blind or partially-sighted people, or people with mobility difficulties. It can also cause expensive damage issues to pavements and verges. Councils would like to have the option for a default ban, with the ability to allow pavement parking in certain circumstances, as is currently available in London. This would be simple and easy for everyone to understand. Councils would carefully consult with communities on the best parking provision for their area, enabling local authorities to better protect vulnerable pedestrians while providing a more consistent approach for all road users. As government reviews the option of an outright ban, there are other immediate measures it could take to tackle the problems and dangers that inconsiderate parking can cause, for example, outside schools. One solution is to add ‘obstruction of the highway’ to the list of contraventions for which civil enforcement applies. The use of more locally responsive solutions and secondary legislation, as advocated by PATROL (Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London), would enable government to take immediate action on pavement parking, while considering the implications and feasibility of other approaches.
No – Neil Greig – Policy and Research Director, IAM RoadSmart
A blanket ban on all pavement parking is yet another example of a broad-brush approach to an essentially local problem. Don’t get me wrong, IAM RoadSmart do not condone pavement parking and it would be an instant fail on your advanced driving test! However, in many places it has become an ad hoc community solution for the failure to match supply and demand for parking spaces. Selfish drivers who knowingly block footpaths and pavements for pedestrians, mums with buggies and those with disabilities, deserve to be ‘booked’, but historically it has often been seen as a positive thing to pavement park to allow access. Indeed, in some areas, councils actively encourage it by marking out the pavement for parking. If a ban was enacted it would require a huge effort by councils to survey and enforce, and potentially displace thousands of cars who would go off looking for safe parking elsewhere. In one part of Edinburgh it was estimated that 5,000 cars would be displaced by switching to parking down one side of the roads around Portobello beach! If councils can supply alternatives, then the move might be more palatable, but this seems very unlikely. In our view clarification of the law, consistent enforcement, education campaigns and better design of new residential areas are the best way forward.