New proposals to tackle parking on pavements

06/11/2020

A new government consultation is underway to tackle whether a change of legislation is required at national or local level to tackle problems caused by motorists who park on pavements. Parking on pavements in London has been outlawed since 1974. Outside of the capital, drivers are permitted to partially park their vehicle on the pavement, if it doesn’t cause an obstruction.

What is the problem under consideration?

At some locations, such as residential areas with narrow roads, the pavement is the only place to park without obstructing the carriageway. However, parked vehicles can cause negative externalities including obstruction which can force pedestrians onto the carriageway, presenting a hazard for vulnerable road users, such as people with sight or mobility impairments. Pavement damage is also a financial burden to local authorities, both in terms of maintenance and responding to personal injury claims.

What are the policy objectives and intended effects?

The policy objective is to enable safe use of the pavement by all pedestrians and in particular people with sight and mobility impairments, or users of buggies and prams, and to prevent social exclusion by enabling these groups to make the journeys necessary to live their lives. The policy aim is enshrined in the

Department for Transport publications: ‘The Road Safety Statement 2019: A Lifetime of Road Safety’; ‘The Inclusive Transport Strategy: Achieving Equal Access for Disabled People’; Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy: Safety Review. The policy also aims to reduce consequential costs to local authorities arising from damaged pavements and personal injury claims. Any legislative change must be proportionate

There are 3 options are under discussion:

  • To improve the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) process, under which local authorities can already prohibit pavement parking.
  • To make a legislative change to allow local authorities with civil parking enforcement powers to enforce against ‘unnecessary obstruction of the pavement’.
  • A legislative change to introduce a London-style pavement parking prohibition throughout England.

The consultation closes on 22nd November 2020.

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