At first glance, this could be a great thing – the age of social media and sharing means that we constantly get to see the cases of inconsiderate parking splashed across the many digital channels open to us, whether that’s a young parent with a child in a buggy being forced in to the road, or someone less able-bodied in a wheelchair risking life & limb to get past a poorly parked car. We’d all agree that the person responsible should suffer consequences.
However, as the saying goes, let those without sin cast the first stone (or a variant thereof).
Personally speaking, if a poorly placed wheel constitutes parking on the pavement, my local council could make up any budget deficit simply by spending a week or two outside my mother’s house, and that’s the problem; the term ‘blanket ban’ and the definition of which that it constitutes.
A blanket ban on pavement parking, by its very definition, encompasses all roads (London introduced similar in 1974), and this would mean an increase in overhead for all local authorities, not only to implement the changes, but to police it, and of course there are roads where parking on the pavement is essential for the flow of traffic, which could also lead to a strain in available parking spaces.
Then there’s the definition – one wheel or four, you’re guilty of parking on the pavement and liable to a fine of £70 for each offence. (That’s each time it happens, not per wheel). Given the fact that implementing and running such schemes would likely involve significant cost, you’d have to assume that any ‘Parking Officer’ would be razor sharp on delivering tickets.
Local authorities say that parking on pavements (even with just one wheel) has cost implications, mainly due to the extra wear & tear on the pavement, which hasn’t been designed to carry the extra load of a car. However, that extra cost should be balanced against the cost for employing a 24-hour service of parking officers, unless of course, they sub-contract the work to the highest bidder, which then take a percentage of any fines levied. Conflict of interest anyone?
This is a similar issue to that of speed cameras – catching motorists with a blatant disregard for safety and speed limits is good, treating all motorists in all conditions for a minor infringement of an arbitrary limit, not quite so good.
Edmund King, AA president said: “It is right that anti-social pavement parking, which prevents and restricts wheelchair users, blind and partially sighted people and pushchairs travelling around our communities must be tackled, however, a blanket ban would be a step too far. A street-by-street assessment is needed to decide where it may be suitable to allow pavement parking. Pavement parking poses problems on both inner city streets and rural lanes, so the outcome needs to be tailored to the circumstances.”
The House of Commons Transport Committee are actively looking for feedback on how this issue can be resolved, and the difficulties that it presents, if you feel that your voice should be heard, closing date for submitting written evidence is 14th May 2019.