19 September 2019 Transport and roads

Council welcomes move to make pavement parking illegal

The council has welcomed proposals to clampdown on thoughtless drivers who park on pavements.

At present, it’s only illegal to park on pavements in London, with those caught being hit with a £75 fine.

But with the problem escalating in Brighton & Hove, and the number of complaints rising, the council has thrown its weight behind the plans to force the government into action.

Government ‘failing to act’

The all-party Commons’ Transport Committee has called on the Government to ban pavement parking across the UK saying it’s ‘deeply concerned about the government’s failure to act’.

The committee has produced a damning report which includes written evidence from the council on the problems Brighton & Hove faces. The report states that some drivers may get confused about the different rules and regulations.

Council needs the powers to take action

Paul Nicholls, the council’s Parking Strategy and Contract Manager and PATROL (Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London) Advisory Board Member, who wrote the evidence states: “Pavement parking has been a long running issue in Brighton & Hove, which we have been unable to resolve with the enforcement powers currently available to us.

“Pavements must be made safe for pedestrians”

Mr Nicholls added: “If we’re given the powers to take enforcement action against pavement parking, we can make the rules and restrictions clear for everyone to ensure pavements aren’t blocked and pedestrians are safe.” 

Ian Taylor, from the Alliance of British Drivers (ABD), states in the report that the majority of his members are aware of the rules but “as regards practice, and what people think they can get away with...people tend to do it.”

Ban is “long overdue”

Cllr Anne Pissaridou, chair of the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “Banning drivers from parking on our pavements is something that’s very long overdue.

“People that park on our footpaths have absolutely no regards or respect for anyone but themselves. They think nothing of blocking the pavement which makes it both hazardous and dangerous for pedestrians, but especially for people who are visually impaired, wheelchair users, people with children’s buggies and those in disabled mobility scooters.”

Pavement parkers know the impact on pedestrians, but do it anyway

A 2017 YouGov survey, commissioned by charity Guide Dogs UK, found 55% of drivers had considered the impact of pavement parking on people with visual impairments but did it regardless.

The London ban has been in place since 1974, but consecutive governments have failed to give local authorities the powers in any other part of the country – including Brighton & Hove.

Cllr Pissaridou added: “Despite the council receiving many complaints about these thoughtless drivers, there is nothing we can do about it.

“Now, hopefully the government will listen to the transport committee and give us, and every local authority in the UK, the powers to take action against these drivers.”