Drivers demand urgent ban on plague of pavement parking

Pavement parking: Blind man reveals the dangers

Recently, a video of a person walking on the pavement past parked cars in Norwich went viral, garnering more than 1.4 million views and hundreds of angry comments. The video saw an eye-level view of a pavement littered with vehicles parking their wheels on the kerb, with some even taking up more than half of the available space for pedestrians.

The clip showed that the person filming struggled to get around some of the vehicles, being completely blocked off at the end by a large Skoda.

The person, who uses the nickname “Tessie Reynolds fan club”, posting the clip joked that the local council and police had “kindly donated a stretch of public amenity land in highly desirable NR2 to a dozen car owners”.

Many people in the comments were furious with the state of pavement parking in their local area and around the UK.

Some suggested that councils were to blame as they diverted funds away from redeveloping existing car parks, forcing people to park on the pavements.

Others complained that people parking on the pavement were stopping people in wheelchairs or parents with pushchairs from being safe, often forcing them onto the road.

One user said: “I come across this all the time whilst in my mobility scooter. I am forced down a high step with a bump, which hurts my back, as they park over the dropped curb. 

“On the road at 4mph I’m not safe then I have to find a dropped curb to get back onto the path further down the street.”

The Highway Code states that when parking, drivers should avoid stopping partially or wholly on the pavement, although only applies to London.

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Rule 244 highlights how parking on the pavement can obstruct or seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments.

Drivers in London face £70 fines if they park on the pavement based on the Greater London (General Purposes) Act 1974.

There are hopes that pavement parking will be formally banned in Scotland this year after years of campaigning from charities and protest groups.

A ban was originally meant to be introduced in 2019, but Michael Matheson, the former Transport Secretary, said a ban would not be coming into effect before 2023.

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Living Streets, a walking charity, stated that any further delays to the planned legislation would be “unacceptable”, adding that because of a 2022 consultation, the ban would not be introduced until December 2024.

A consultation was launched by the Government in October 2020, with the review wanting to hear opinions on the problems caused by pavement parking, how effective the current legislation is and what reform options could have merit.

The consultation suggested some potential exemptions to pavement parking rules including emergency vehicles, postal vehicles and delivery drivers, provided they are stopped for less than 20 minutes.

Speaking at the time, Baroness Vere of Norbiton, said: “I know that pavement parking can cause real problems for pedestrians, but particularly for wheelchair users, people with visual impairments and those with prams or buggies. 

“We are also told that the current legislative framework may not be as clear or effective as it could be. These are important concerns, and I take them seriously.”

A recent YouGov study, commissioned by sight loss charity Guide Dogs, found that 46 percent of UK drivers were unaware of pavement parking laws.

Shockingly, only five percent of motorists knew the current rules and regulations surrounding pavement parking.

Pavement parking could also be banned in Wales this year, with Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Climate Change in the Welsh Senedd, said he would look to introduce the necessary legislation by the end of 2023.

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