The Local Government Association is calling on local authorities in England and Wales to ban vehicles parking on the pavements.

parking on pavements

Local authorities should be given greater power to ban drivers from parking on pavements and causing an obstruction to pedestrians the Local Government Association have argued. Outside of the capital, parking is generally allowed anywhere that doesn’t cause an obvious obstruction or where there are restrictions such as double yellow lines.

The Association’s transport minister, Councillor Martin Tett, said:

“Councils in the capital have been able to ban pavement parking for many years. It seems a nonsense that Local Authorities outside London remain unable to do this”

The dangers of pavement parking

In an effort to back up the danger of pavement parking, the Association referred to news reports to strengthen their case. A child minder from Worcester, claimed that children are at risk as they are unable to ride bikes on the pavement. She also lamented the lack of space to navigate her pushchair, forcing her onto the road.

Councillor Louis Stephens echoed her concerns, adding:

“It’s not just parents with pushchairs. There are quite a lot of people affected by cars parking on pavements. Examples are people with mobility scooters and blind people with a guide dog. Dogs try to avoid the parked cars and actually lead the blind person into the road.”

£12 billion repair bill

Tett revealed that pavement parking is racking up unnecessary repair costs with inconsiderate motorists damaging kerbs, verges and pavements. He said that repairs are:

“Expensive at a time when councils continue to face huge funding pressures as a result of further cuts to funding from Government”.

He added:

“The money spent on this would be better used to plug the £12 billion roads repair bill we currently face as a nation”.

The other side 

So now that you’ve read the hard hitting dangers of pavement parking and how evil those people are, I’ll present the other side.

It’s easy for the Association to chastise pavement parkers but for many there is no other alternative. For example, many estates in England and Wales have terraced housing with the only parking being available on the road outside the property. This makes the roads narrower, forcing people to park on the pavement to enable cars to pass safely.

Until local authorities provide better parking options for residents then they will struggle to implement a ban. Using examples such as children being unable to ride bikes on the pavement is hardly enough to dissuade drivers who would prefer children didn’t ride their bicycles on the pavement regardless of space.

Considering the amount of money drivers pay for the privilege, it seems crass to accuse them of damaging property and leaving tax payers to foot the bill. Perhaps local councils could use some of the money they obtain from drivers on a daily basis for parking, taxes and congestion charges.

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