The House of Commons Select Committee has launched an inquiry into pavement parking and is calling for written evidence about: the impact of pavement parking; the enforcement of pavement parking offences; enforcement and, if necessary, reform of traffic regulation orders needed to deal with pavement parking.
Pavement parking is an issue of widespread concern to Bristol Walking Alliance (BWA) members. In October 2017 we held an event in Bristol to discuss pavement parking, and it has been one of our campaign issues since then. The issues we raised in our statement to the inquiry are:
- There is a need to raise public awareness of the significant problems caused by pavement parking.
- Pavement parking is an equalities issue that should be recognised in the Department for Transport Equality Action Plan.
- Those responsible for the street environment have a responsibility to tackle problems that make a footway inaccessible for disabled people. The Equality Act 2010 Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) states that public authorities, including highways authorities, are required to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination and achieve equality of opportunity between disabled and non-disabled people.
- Pavement parking adversely affects public health. It restricts the ability of some people to get out and about which is associated with poor physical and mental health. It also undermines safe walking routes to school and children’s independent mobility.
- Pavement parking is a road safety concern forcing some pedestrians to walk in the road, which is especially dangerous for younger and older pedestrians, and people with disabilities.
- National policy should give guidance on the treatment of narrow residential streets. A common excuse for pavement parking is to make space for emergency vehicles. Regulations and infrastructure should ensure that emergency vehicles can access narrow streets when needed. The solution is not to prioritise pavement parking over residents’ safe access to pavements.
- Pavement parking should be a clear offence with appropriate enforcement and sanctions. There should be a national policy that pavement parking is illegal unless it is specifically permitted (as is the case in London). Using smaller scale Traffic Regulation Orders is time consuming, piecemeal and unlikely to resolve the issue nationwide.
- Neither local authorities nor local police appear willing to address the problems created by pavement parking. It should be clear which authority is responsible for enforcement and how infringements should be reported.
BWA members are encouraged to contribute their views to the Inquiry. The closing date to submit written evidence is 14 May 2019.
Use this link for the Bristol Walking Alliance full response.