For some drivers, parking on the pavement comes as second nature. For others, it’s a complete nuisance. Now new research reveals the UK has a near perfect 50/50 split on the issue. Half the country thinks that we should ban pavement parking while the other thinks we should allow it.

Research from YourParkingSpace shows that 1 in 10 drivers park daily on the pavement which equates to about 3 million a day leading to the government potentially planning to act and create a nationwide ban on pavement parking.

Change in law

Back in 1974 when the Road Traffic Act was created, pavement parking was made illegal and never enacted. This was mainly due to high contention from multiple organisations and pressure from citizens; it was ultimately repealed in 1991 and pavement parking, aside from a few spots namely London and other major cities.

Now over 40 years later, the Scottish Government has under their new Transport bill allowed local governments to fine for pavement parking. Along with some areas in London, at the minute these are the only places one cannot park on the pavement.

However, new research from YourParkingSpace hints at a nationwide ban on pavement parking that could be enacted by the Government, something which divides the country fairly evenly.

Blocking pavement space

Pavement parking can cause major issues for those who are disabled, have a pram or are blind. The charity Guide Dogs for the Blind says that 90% of their members tell them, above everything else, pavement parking is the biggest physical obstacle they face in the street.

On the other hand, organisations such as the Alliance of British Drivers (ABD) have come forward to say that a blanket ban would not be successful, but instead a middle ground of having a minimum pavement width and assigned parking spots on the pavement.

In a slightly different light, people such as postal or delivery services, meal on wheels drivers and so many more could be easily affected by this. Their need for a quick spot to park, drop an item and leave shortly after is where a blanket ban could get confusing. Similarly, for emergency services, they need the closest spot possible to the incident and if a pavement ban is in place this could make it more complicated for the above.

The ABD released a statement about the topic, along with their suggestion “…We suggest that all that is needed on most residential streets is a minimum one-metre walkway. That’s equivalent to a double buggy or a mobility scooter. We don’t object to councils dealing with those who seriously obstruct. Therefore we oppose default blanket bans, but should it come about, urge the “middle ground” solution outlined above – with a statutory requirement for councils to provide pavement parking provision on any road where it is requested and/or achievable while still allowing that minimum one-metre width for pedestrian passage.”

Nationwide split

Not unlike other topics, the UK is completely split on pavement parking with half the country thinking it should be allowed and the other half finding it completely awful and thinking a harsh ban would be good for us all.

Harrison Woods, managing director at YourParkingSpace.co.uk, said: “Parking splits opinion, none more so than the issue of parking on pavements. In many parts of the UK, it is still allowed, but this could soon change as the Government reviews the issue. The outcome could affect the parking habits of millions.”

He added: “Parking on a pavement can cause real inconvenience to pedestrians, but some motorists feel it can be their only option. Our advice, where pavement parking is currently allowed, is always to make sure there’s plenty of room for pedestrians to get past and to be aware of people with a pushchair, with a visual impairment or in a wheelchair.”

One in ten drivers parks on the pavement daily, with another one in twenty parking on the pavement weekly. On top of that one in five drivers have admitted to parking on the pavement at some point in their driving life, although most cannot recall when. With the country completely split, any move from the government either way could prove highly contentious, and so this must be balanced well in order to meet the needs of those who struggle to manoeuvre pavements and help reduce the impact this could have on congestion.

What do you think about pavement parking? Would you be for or against a strict ban? Let us know in the comments below

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