27 May 2014

Council tackles pavement parking

FROM next month Brighton & Hove City Council starts a concerted campaign to tackle pavement parking in four areas of the city so that people can move around safely.

The education and enforcement campaign, supported by Sussex Police and the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, is focusing on areas where residents and councillors have told the council there are problems with illegal and obstructive parking, and parking and driving on pavements.

All the targeted areas are on busy roads, some of which are routes to schools or near leisure facilities or shops. They are:

  • Portland Road, where vehicles are blocking the views at junctions and pedestrian crossing points and actually driving onto pavements during the school run
  • Kingsway (outside the King Alfred Leisure Centre), where people driving onto the pavement to park have been coming into conflict with people using the leisure centre and seafront, including children
  • Nevill Road, between Eridge Road and Nevill Avenue. In Nevill Road, Hove, residents and Sussex Police have raised concerns about obstructive parking near the traffic lights by Woodland Drive, blocking views at traffic signals and also driving on the pavement during the school run
  • Ladies Mile Road, Patcham, between Warmdene Road and Highview Avenue South where pavement parking has recently increased around the shopping parades and close to schools. There have been instances where cars have come into conflict with school children.

Guide Dogs have also been campaigning nationally for action to be taken against pavement parking because it is particularly dangerous for people with sight loss.

Geraint Evans, Mobility Team Manager for Guide Dogs, said: “Imagine you have to step into a road where you can’t see oncoming traffic. People who are blind or partially sighted have to face this shocking reality every day when cars are parked on pavements. We are delighted that Brighton & Hove City Council is taking measures to prevent this form of inconsiderate and dangerous parking.”

Councillor Pete West, chair of Brighton & Hove’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said: “Parking and driving over pavements causes considerable hazards for people, particularly in locations near schools, leisure facilities and shops.

“Some of this pavement parking has been going on for years, and sadly it seems to be on the increase. The prevalence of people actually driving on the pavement and potentially putting others in danger is of great concern and the council is receiving many complaints from residents.

“In the autumn, the council will undertake a further campaign to tackle illegal parking outside schools and on routes to schools. Many children now walk or cycle to school and they should be able to do so in safety. Over 12,000 primary school children took part in last week’s Walk to School Week.”

Parking on the public highway on or behind double yellow lines is illegal. Posters will be going up in these areas from 1 June and warning notices issued for two weeks from 9 June. This will be followed by a week of enforcement action where people will receive penalty charge notices, starting 23 June. The action days will also be looking for abandoned and stolen vehicles.

Alongside the action, the council’s road safety team is promoting a ‘Park Safe/Walk Safe’ education campaign to address unsafe parking and driver behaviour outside schools.

At the end of last year, the council began enforcing illegal pavement parking in Brighton’s Elm Grove. As a result of the enforcement activity 70 vehicles that used to be parked on the pavements at junctions are no longer there which has transformed the area and improved visibility. In the first two months 500 civil enforcement officer visits took place and 563 Penalty Charge Notices issued.