Consultation launched on plan to ban pavement parking
PUBLISHED: 10:07 31 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:47 31 August 2020
Parking on pavements could be banned under plans to ease journeys for disabled people and parents pushing prams.
A ban could pose a problem in Victorian terraced streets across Norfolk where parking outside homes on both sides of the street is only possible when drivers use part of the pavement.
Pavement parking is already banned in London and the Department for Transport (DfT) is consulting on three options.
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These include extend the London-style ban nationwide, making it easier for councils to prohibit pavement parking, and giving councils the power to fine offenders
Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “Parking on pavements means wheelchair users, visually impaired people and parents with pushchairs can be forced into the road, which is not only dangerous, but discourages people from making journeys.”
People living in Norwich’s Golden Triangle expressed scepticism over how a ban could work.
Andrew Kerrison, in Sandringham Street, said: ““I just think it will be impossible to implement on streets like these. If everyone parked on the road you couldn’t drive down it. There are already issues with access for fire engines.
“I understand the problem. When we used a buggy for the children we did have to walk in the road and it’s especially bad when the wheelie bins are out for collection. But I just don’t know what the solution is.”
Sarah McGurk, from St Phillips Road, said: “There is obviously a problem for people in wheelchairs and with pushchairs, and particularly bad for people who are partially sighted.
“These streets just weren’t built for the amount of cars we now have, but if you tried to enforce it, where will all the cars go?”
Robert Court, in Alexandra Road, said: “I know in London they have marked boxes that are half on the pavement. That makes sense but would it work in streets as narrow as these?”
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A report by the Commons Transport Select Committee in September last year called for a blanket nationwide ban on the “blight” of parking on pavements.
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Witnesses told MPs that the worst cases of pavement parking were effectively trapping disabled, elderly and vulnerable people, making them “afraid to leave their homes”.
Stephen Edwards, of walking charity Living Streets, said: “We’re regularly contacted by disabled and older people who feel trapped in their homes because there isn’t enough room on the pavement for wheelchairs or mobility scooters.
“This has impacted more people during the pandemic, with blocked pavements affecting everyone’s ability to physically distance.”
Denise Carlo, Green Party city councillor, whose Nelson ward takes in terraced streets in the Golden Triangle, said: “It is a large bone of contention in Victorian terrace areas which were not designed for cars.
“However, the government must put money into solving the problem because a ban would have to be accompanied by extra measures where pavements and roads are very narrow.”
Jack Cousens, head of roads policy at the AA, said: “Local authorities should make a street-by-street assessment and where pavement parking is allowed, markings should show how much pavement can be used.”
A blanket ban on pavement parking would be “unwelcome” - that was what Norfolk County Council and Norwich City Council told a House of Commons transport committee last summer.
They said pavement parking could have a “positive impact”, particularly given Norfolk’s urban areas and villages are “characterised by narrow roads”. They said: “This is especially so in Norwich with its network of dense terrace streets”.
An outright ban, they said, would put pressure on councils to introduce traffic regulations to still allow it in such streets.
Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said it was an issue worth investigating.
He said it could bring benefits for disabled people and parents with pushchairs.
But he said: “It is not going to be an easy issue, particularly with the terraced streets in Norwich. It would need to be looked at carefully.”
• Views can be given to the consultation at Parking Survey
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