NI 60 - Motorists could be fined £70 for parking on pavements in a bid to prevent vehicles blocking paths and causing difficulties for wheelchairs, pushchairs and blind pedestrians
Post date: 06-Apr-2018 09:43:13
Motorists could be fined up to £70 if they park on the pavement under government plans to clear up the roadside. The Department for Transport (DfT) said it was considering new laws to prevent vehicles blocking paths and causing difficulties for wheelchair users, people with pushchairs and blind pedestrians. The move could allow councils to make it illegal to park on the kerb with offenders facing fines of £50 or £70.
It would bring the rest of England in line with London, which has had a blanket ban on pavement parking for more than 40 years. Councils have long argued for a change in the law, saying it was ‘nonsense’ that those outside London were treated differently but motoring groups warned an all-out ban was inappropriate for certain parts of the country and could lead to greater congestion.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, the motoring charity, said: ‘Motorists thinking that they’re doing their fellow road users a favour by parking up on the pavement should also have an eye to the people whose paths they might be blocking, particularly in built-up areas where thoughtless parking can mean wheelchair users and parents with prams or buggies have to contend with motor traffic.’
Edmund King, president of the AA, opposed a total ban. ‘There are some streets that are so narrow that if cars park on both sides it wouldn’t allow emergency vehicles or bin lorries to get through,’ he said. ‘We would be concerned if there was a blanket ban because it is clearly possible in some areas to park on the pavement while still allowing room for pushchairs or people in wheelchairs to pass.’
Two years ago, the DfT suggested they would carry out a review of pavement parking as part of wider reforms designed to promote cycling and walking, but never did.
But the government has now confirmed it will investigate the issue as part of an overhaul of traffic laws that is expected to be completed later this year.
Pavement parking has been banned in London since 1974, although councils can seek exemptions. Outside the capital, pavement parking is usually allowed except where vehicles cause an obstruction, or on roads with other restrictions such as double-yellow lines. Councils usually have to resort to a traffic regulation order to impose an all-out ban in a local area. In response to a parliamentary question, Jesse Norman, the transport minister, said: ‘The Department for Transport has been considering the scope for improving the traffic regulation order process. However, the department is now undertaking a broader piece of work to gather evidence on the issue of pavement parking. We expect to be able to draw conclusions later this year.’