Posted: 20.11.20 at 15:14 by Deborah Price
Herts County Council is backing proposals for a national ban on pavement parking, as part of a government consultation.
Parking on the pavement by cars or lorries can cause real problems for older people, those with mobility issues or limited sight and those with pushchairs or prams.
And now the government has launched a national consultation to address the problem, in recognition that the rules on pavement parking vary across the country.
In London, parking on a pavement has been illegal since 1974 – with motorists given a £70 fine for obstruction, which can be enforced by the police.
But in most other parts of the country pavement parking is a de-criminalised offence – left to local councils to enforce.
And that means police can only be called if the parking is dangerous, on zigzag lines or would prevent emergency vehicles from passing.
On Thursday, a meeting of the county council’s highways and environment cabinet panel considered the council’s response to the consultation.
And they backed an option that would bring in a London-style ban on pavement parking across the country.
However they stressed the need for exceptions that would give councils discretion to allow parking on footways in some necessary locations.
And executive member for highways and environment councillor Phil Bibby assured the panel that he had been assured that under the proposal – if appropriate and there was no other way – parking on pavements could still be considered in some locations.
During the debate councillors noted there were locations that – should an emergency vehicle, bin lorry or a delivery vehicle not park on the pavement – traffic would not be able to pass.
And they noted some areas where, without pavement parking, there was no alternative parking available.
They also highlighted the difficulties that pavement parking posed to pedestrians, as well as the damage caused to pavement slabs.
And they questioned whether motorists who crossed pavements in order to park on verges would also be covered by any legislation.
The council’s official response – backing a national ban with council powers to exempt areas – will be submitted to government by November 22.
It stresses the need for the Department for Transport (DfT) to engage in the design and the delivery of a ban – including an extensive national campaign.
And it calls for time to be allowed for the necessary traffic regulation orders (TROs) to be put in place for those areas tat would be exempt.
It also calls on the government to make sure ‘appropriate funding’ is available for local authorities for necessary signage, lines and information for residents.
And it states: “The DfT should produce guidelines including a minimum standard for allowable pavement parking to ensure consistency across the national network.”