Inquiry into parking on pavements opens

Transport Select Committee to asks for evidence as it investigates issue that “risks the safety of all groups of people”

A national inquiry into parking on pavements has been opened, as the government seeks to address a practice that “risks the safety of all groups of people from the littlest to the oldest”.

The Transport Select Committee has today opened an online call for written evidence into the issue, which may result in a banning of parking on pavements.

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Current legislation on pavement parking comprises a mix of civil and criminal sanctions but, while Londoners have been prohibited from parking on the kerb since 1974, the rest of the country had been allowed to do so.

That’s because the Highway Code currently states that drivers “must not” park on the pavement in London, but only advises drivers “should not” do so elsewhere in the country, effectively allowing drivers to park on pavements outside of the capital.

Lilian Greenwood MP, chair of the Transport Select Committee, said “This is an area where some people’s actions cause real difficulties for others… We want to hear from the public about the difficulties this presents and the solutions on offer.”

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Edmund King, president of the AA, welcomed the inquiry, but said a blanket ban on pavement parking “would be a step too far”. King said while “anti-social” pavement parking “prevents and restricts wheelchair users, blind & partially sighted people and pushchairs travelling around our communities”, a “street-by-street” assessment, “tailored to the circumstances”, would be needed to determine where the practice could be allowed.

A previous Private Members’ Bill, which sought to make parking on pavement illegal, stalled at its second reading in the House of Commons in 2015. MPs questioned how making parking on the pavement a civil offence would affect drivers who live on narrow roads with no off-street parking.

Fines for parking on the pavement vary across London, but Transport for London, which operates five per cent the capital’s roads, issues £130 penalty charge notices for parking on pavements – though this is reduced by half if paid within 14 days.

Do you think owners should be fined for parking on the pavement? Let us know below…