New proposals to tackle pavement parking and make streets safer for parents and disabled people have been welcomed by Maria Caulfield MP following her campaigning on the issue.
The government is set to consult on proposals in the summer designed to improve the lives of people with mobility or sight impairments, as well as parents with prams who may be forced into the road to get around parked cars.
The 12-week consultation will include options such as allowing local authorities with civil parking enforcement powers to crack down on unnecessary obstruction of the pavement. Currently, outside London, only police have this power. It will also consider how a nationwide ban on pavement parking enforced by local authorities might work, allowing for any necessary exceptions or designated spots for pavement parking where needed, and how a tailored approach may be required in rural and suburban areas which face very different challenges.
In 2019 the Department for Transport concluded a review which looked at the problems caused by pavement parking, the effectiveness of legislation, and the case for reform. It found that pavement parking was problematic for 95% of respondents who are visually impaired and 98% of wheelchair users.
Maria Caulfield MP said “Vehicles parked on the pavement can cause very real difficulties for many pedestrians. This is a real concern for many constituents, particularly the disabled and those with young children, and is one that is frequently raised with me. I am pleased that the government are taking action to make pavements safer and will be launching a consultation to find a long-term solution for this complex issue.”
Blanche Shackleton, head of policy, campaigns and public affairs at Guide Dogs said “Pavement parking prevents people with sight loss from getting out and about safely, resulting in feelings of loneliness and isolation. We look forward to working with the government to make this proposed law a reality.”