UK Government Will Consider Nationwide Ban On Pavement Parking In New Consultation
Although London has has a ban on pavement parking since 1974, although individual councils can seek exemption. Only lorries are banned from parking on the pavement in the rest of the country.
New regulations could help prevent obstructions for those with mobility issues, visual impairments or parents with prams.
Grant Shapps said in a statement: "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."
The consultation will discuss giving local authorities civil parking enforcement powers to help crack down on pavement parking. Currently only the police have this power outside of London.
In 2019, a Department for Transport report found pavement parking was a problem for 95 percent of those who were visually impaired and 98 percent of wheelchair users.
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.
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"We look forward to working with the government to make this proposed law a reality."
Stephen Edwards, Director of Policy and Communications at walking charity 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."
MPs have long been demanding action on pavement parking, with calls last year to enforce a £70 ($89) fine on those who do so.
Labour MP Lilian Greenwood, who chairs the transport committee, said: "We are deeply concerned that the government has failed to act on this issue, despite long-standing promises to do so.
"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."
Featured Image Credit: Pexels
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