MPs on the Transport Committee have called for an outright ban on pavement parking across England and criticised the Department for Transport (DfT) for failing to take action.
In 2015 the Government promised to look into the issue of pavement parking in England, but the Transport Committee says that consultations, roundtable events and internal reviews failed to lead to any actions to improve the public’s experience of pavement parking.
In a new report, Pavement Parking, published by the Transport Committee, MPs set out recommendations on how pavement parking can be tackled while legislation is prepared.
The Committee has recommended that the Government:
Commit to tackling pavement parking as part of its Loneliness Strategy
Legislate for a nationwide ban on pavement parking across England, outside London
Fund and deploy a national awareness campaign to highlight the negative consequences of pavement parking
Bring forward proposals to reform the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) process—to make it cheaper and easier for local authorities to use
Abolish the requirement to advertise TROs in a local newspaper
Publicise to the general public who enforces different types of parking offences
Consult on a new offence of obstructive pavement parking.
The Chair of the Transport Committee, Lilian Greenwood MP, said: “Pavement parking has a huge impact on people’s lives and their ability get around their communities.
“Motorists may feel they have no choice but to park on the pavement and many try to do so in a considerate way, but evidence to our inquiry revealed the impact on those with visual and mobility impairments and people with children.”
Greenwood says she is “deeply concerned” that the Government has failed to act on this issue, despite “long-standing promises to do so”.
She continued: “This is a thorny problem that may be difficult to resolve to the satisfaction of all, but 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.
“In the long-term we believe the Government should ban pavement parking across England—as is already the case in London. Local authorities could create exemptions if they choose to do so, but drivers would know that unless it was expressly permitted it was illegal to park their car on the pavement.”
Greenwood accepts that implementing a nationwide ban will take time. “In the short-term we have said that they Government should make it easier for local authorities to put in place parking restrictions by removing some of the bureaucratic burdens they currently have to contend with,” she explained.
“We have also recommended that the Government run an awareness campaign about the negative impacts of pavement parking, to inform drivers about the impact their behaviour has on others.”