The Commons’ Transport Committee has called for a new law and an awareness campaign on the impact it has, especially for those with mobility or visual impairments.
The Department for Transport said it had concluded a review into the issue and would be announcing its next steps “over the coming months” but the committee said government action had “been slow”.
Pavement parking is already banned in London – with those who flout the rules facing a fine.
The Scottish government has already banned pavement parking in its Transport (Scotland) Bill, and the Welsh government has set up a task force to look at the issue. The committee spoke to people with visual and mobility impairments, as well as carers and parents, who suffer as a result of pathways being blocked – being forced into the road with wheelchairs, pushchairs or small children, for example.
It said in its report: “Pavement parking can have a considerable impact on people’s lives and their ability to safely leave their homes. People are at risk of social isolation if they feel unable to leave their homes safely or are physically prevented from doing so”.
Risk of injury
The committee has made a list of recommendations, including a public awareness campaign, improvements to Traffic Regulation Orders – which could be used to enforce a ban – and a new civil offence for pavement parking. They have also gained the support of charities, including Guide Dogs – which is running its own campaign called Streets Ahead – and Living Streets, the UK charity promoting everyday walking.
“While pavement parking can be a necessity in some areas, it should not be allowed to happen where it has a significant adverse impact on people’s lives.”