Government to consult over the pavement parkers - The Evesham Observer

Government to consult over the pavement parkers

Evesham Editorial 24th Mar, 2020   0

A BID to tackle the scourge of pavement parking and make streets safer for parents and disabled people has moved a step closer after the Government revealed a consultation on the thorny issue.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the 12-week consultation this summer would be aimed at introducing proposals to improve the lives of people with mobility or sight impairments, as well as parents with pushchairs 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.

“Vehicles parked on the pavement can cause very real difficulties for many pedestrians. That’s why I am taking action to make pavements safer and I will be launching a consultation to find a long-term solution for this complex issue,” Mr Shapps said.

“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 pavement parking was problematic for 95 per cent of respondents who are visually impaired and 98 per cent of wheelchair users.”

Campaigners welcomed the move and Blanche Shackleton, head of policy, campaigns and public affairs at Guide Dogs said pavement parking prevented those with sight loss getting out, which could lead to loneliness and isolation.

Stephen Edwards, director of Policy and Communications at campaign group Living Streets said: “Pavement parking forces people with wheelchairs, buggies and those living with sight loss into the road and into oncoming traffic and the most vulnerable pedestrians continue to be put at risk of injury and isolation every day that this dangerous act continues.

“Clear pavements need clear laws, but currently regional differences cause confusion. We need a nationwide default ban, with the option to allow pavement parking in certain circumstances, as is currently available in London. This would be much simpler to enact and easier for everyone to understand.

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