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Commons Transport Committee criticises DfT for failing to tackle pavement parking

09 September 2019

House of Commons Transport Committee takes the Department for Transport to task for failing to tackle pavement parking

The Transport Committee has today criticised the Department for Transport for failing to take action on pavement parking, which MPs have been told has a detrimental effect on people’s lives and can lead to social isolation. 

Failure to take action

The Transport Committee has today criticised the Department for Transport for failing to take action on pavement parking, which MPs have been told has a detrimental effect on people’s lives and can lead to social isolation.

In 2015 the Government promised to look into the issue of pavement parking in England. Consultations, roundtable events and internal reviews failed to lead to any actions to improve the public's experience of pavement parking.

Recommendations

In today’s Report, Pavement parking, the Committee calls for an outright ban on pavement parking across England in the long-term.

MPs have also set out recommendations on how pavement parking can be tackled while legislation is prepared.  The Committee has recommended that the Government:

  • commit to tackling pavement parking as part of its Loneliness Strategy
  • legislate for a nationwide ban on pavement parking across England, outside London
  • fund and deploy a national awareness campaign to highlight the negative consequences of pavement parking
  • bring forward proposals to reform the TRO process—to make it cheaper and easier for local authorities to use
  • abolish the requirement to advertise TROs in a local newspaper
  • publicise to the general public who enforces different types of parking offences
  • consult on a new offence of obstructive pavement parking.
 

Chair's comments

The Chair of the Transport Committee, Lilian Greenwood MP, said:

“Pavement parking has a huge impact on people's lives and their ability get around their communities.  Motorists may feel they have no choice but to park on the pavement and many try to do so in a considerate way, but evidence to our inquiry revealed the impact on those with visual and mobility impairments and people with children.

“We are deeply concerned that the Government has failed to act on this issue, despite long-standing promises to do so. This is a thorny problem that may be difficult to resolve to the satisfaction of all, but the Government's inaction has left communities blighted by unsightly and obstructive pavement parking and individuals afraid or unable to leave their homes or safely navigate the streets.

“In the long-term we believe the Government should ban pavement parking across England—as is already the case in London. Local authorities could create exemptions if they choose to do so, but drivers would know that unless it was expressly permitted it was illegal to park their car on the pavement.

“We recognise that implementing a nationwide ban will take time. In the short-term we have said that they Government should make it easier for local authorities to put in place parking restrictions by removing some of the bureaucratic burdens they currently have to contend with. We have also recommended that the Government run an awareness campaign about the negative impacts of pavement parking, to inform drivers about the impact their behaviour has on others.”

Disability Rights UK's comments

Sue Bott, Head of Policy and Research at Disability Rights UK, said:

“Disability Rights UK welcomes this report from the Transport Select committee.  Parking on pavements creates obstacles for many disabled people trying to get on with our every day lives.  To add insult to injury often pavement parking also blocks the down curb.  It’s time this anti-social behaviour was tackled.”

You can read the Transport Select Committee's report, reccomendations and a summary of their work on pavement parking at the links below: