Pavement Parking Plight

July 10, 2018

Parking partially or wholly on a pavement is a bit of a grey area when it comes to the law in most towns.  It’s not illegal outside of London, but people could still be fined if they’re classed as causing an ‘obstruction’ – which is subjective.

Many streets in the UK were built a long time ago and are simply not wide enough for cars to pass through.  This forces people to park partially on pavements to avoid obstructing the road, forcing pedestrians onto roads.  This is particularly distressing for wheelchair users.

“He was trying to wheel himself back inside [his home] and a car had parked up on the kerb, he tried to get around it and fell out of his wheelchair.”

Impact on Pedestrians

Many wheelchair users have told of their struggles trying to find/use dropped kerbs due to cars blocking them.  This can lead to accidents as users struggle to manage high kerbs.  Steve from Bristol, told how his father hurt himself after falling due to blocked pavements.  He said:

“He was trying to wheel himself back inside [his home] and a car had parked up on the kerb, he tried to get around it and fell out of his wheelchair.”

Visually impaired pedestrians are also particularly at risk, as being on the road is particularly frightening for them and potentially their guide dogs too, who’re trained to walk on pavements.

Compromised Solution?

To tackle this issue without banning parking on the pavement flat out, a street in Bath had painted parking spaces half on the road, half on the pavement.  It was suggested after many cars and vans were parking fully on the pavements, totally blocking pedestrian areas.

A Compromised Solution?

The new painted lines leave a specified amount of room on pavements, to ensure pedestrians can get past.

Motorists have complained at the initiative, claiming drivers are squeezing into these spaces and making it harder to get in or out of spaces.

A Change in the Law

It’s been proposed that there needs to be a change in the law to make the rules of parking on pavements more clear with many calling for it to be banned outright.

Research is being gathered in order to pass the new proposed law, which would fine drivers £70 for parking on pavements.  It’s hoped this would protect pedestrians and deter inconsiderate drivers from parking in an obstructive way.

 

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