Minister for Transport responds to campaigners on Pavement Parking
Over the past 6 weeks Guide Dogs campaigners have been writing to Robert Goodwill MP, the Minister for Transport, asking him to support two bills that would bring an end to problem pavement parking in England, Scotland and Wales.
The bills have been put forward by backbench MPs and need to gain Government support if they are to become law.
In response to over 1100 emails, the Minister of Transport has written an open letter to Guide Dogs:
“I am well aware that parking on the pavement can cause serious problems for pedestrians, particularly people in wheelchairs or with vision impairments and those with prams or pushchairs. However, in some streets pavement parking may in practice be inevitable to maintain free passage of traffic. Therefore, local authorities need to decide where and whether pavement parking should or should not be permitted, taking account of all road users when making their decisions.
In London there is a general ban on parking on the footway but in the rest of England there is no such prohibition. However, local authorities outside London have wide-ranging powers to prohibit pavement parking. Such pavement parking bans outside London would need to be appropriately signed so that motorists are aware that the restriction is in operation. In areas where the local authority has obtained Civil Parking Enforcement powers, Civil Enforcement Officers can enforce pavement parking bans on designated highways by issuing Penalty Charge Notices.
The Government will take a position on the two Private Members’ Bills at Second Reading in the House of Commons. In the meantime, I can report that Baroness Kramer wrote to all English Traffic Authorities on 27 June 2014 to remind them of their existing, wide-ranging powers to prevent people from parking on the pavement where it is a problem.”
We welcome the Minister’s response, however, both Guide Dogs and most local authority councillors (78% according to our survey) believe a nationwide law is needed in order to really tackle the problem.
The second reading of the Pavement Parking Bill, tabled by Martin Horwood MP, will take place on Friday 12 September.
Read our news story on the progress of the Responsible Parking (Scotland) Bill.