Vehicles parked on pavements are an issue, particularly for vulnerable pedestrians such as older people, families with pushchairs, wheelchair users and people with visual or mobility impairments. Banks of parked cars can also force cyclists to swerve into dangerous traffic flows, which can be especially dangerous on narrow roads.
At present, the existing law is applied inconsistently, and charities such as Living Streets and Guide Dogs have highlighted that for many people, the current rules in England, outside of London, are confusing.
Whilst parking on pavements and verges is permitted unless specifically prohibited by a local authority, it is an offence to drive onto the pavement, whether with intention to park or not. I know this frustrates local residents and causes misery to people with disabilities and visual impairments who find pavements blocked.
Last year, the Government consulted on managing pavement parking. It proposed three options for consideration: improving the Traffic Regulation Order process; a change to the law to allow local authorities with civil parking enforcement powers to enforce against ‘unnecessary obstruction of the pavement’, or a change to the law to introduce a London-style pavement parking prohibition throughout England.
Despite promising a summary of results within three months of the consultation closing in November 2020, the Government has still not published anything.
One of my Opposition Colleagues, Rupa Huq MP, asked Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Transport: ‘what his timetable is for publishing the results of his Department’s pavement parking consultation which closed on 22 November 2020?’
Rachel Maclean, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport, answered the question on 24 June by saying:
‘The Department received over 15,000 responses to the consultation. We are carefully considering the consultation findings and will be publishing a response when we have completed this work, which is a priority.’
I can assure you that my Opposition Colleagues and I will continue to press the Government to respond to the consultation and support pavement rules that address the difficulties faced by vulnerable pedestrians and cyclists.