Power urged by councils to crackdown on pavement parking by motorists

Greater power is being called for by councils to stop motorists parking on pavements. 

The Local Government Association, which represents authorities across England and Wales, has said drivers blocking kerbs are putting lives at risk by forcing pedestrians, including blind people and parents with prams, to walk in the road.

Pavement parking has been banned in London for 40 years, but it is generally permitted outside the capital on roads without other restrictions such as double yellow lines.

Local authorities must obtain Traffic Regulation Orders to stop pavement parking but they argue this is time-consuming, expensive and bureaucratic.

The LGA's transport spokesman Martin Tett said it "seems nonsense" that councils outside London do not have more control over pavement parking.

He said: "Local authorities need this power to respond to concerns raised by their communities, for example if a street is becoming dangerously congested or pedestrians are being forced to step out into the street to get round parked vehicles.

"This is particularly dangerous for blind or partially sighted people and mums and dads with prams."

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As well as causing an obstruction to pedestrians, pavements and kerbs get damaged. The LGA says councils have limited funds and the money could be better spent plugging a £12bn roads repair bill.

Mr Tett said councils would "carefully consult with communities" before bans were implemented.

But Rebecca Ashton of the road safety charity, I am Road Smart, told Sky News each road had to be judged on its own merits.

She said: "I don't think a one-size-fits-all blanket ban would work."

AA president Edmund King agreed and pointed out certain roads would become blocked if drivers cannot partially park on the pavement.

He said: "Some drivers think they are helping the flow of traffic by parking on the pavement, but too often little to no consideration is given to how someone in a wheelchair or a parent with a child in a buggy will pass their vehicle.

"The AA cautiously welcomes this measure, but a thorough investigation of roads must happen before any implementation takes place."

A Department for Transport spokesman said: "Councils already have the power to ban drivers from using pavements and we are looking at whether more can be done to make it easier for them to tackle problem areas."

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