An inquiry into the problems caused by pavement parking across England has been launched by the Transport Committee, which could affect fleet drivers.
A vehicle that is guilty of so-called ‘pavement parking’ is one that puts one or more of its wheels on the footpath, creating unnecessary obstacles for members of the public wanting to use the walkways.
One of the biggest issues caused by pavement parking is the damage to footpath surfaces which were not originally designed to cope with the weight of a 21st century road vehicle.
Although local councils and the police have a blend of civil and criminal sanctions at their disposal to enforce penalties on private or commercial pavement parkers, it appears that few choose to utilise these powers.
In fact, parking on pavements and footpaths in the capital has been prohibited since 1974 and it is also illegal for all heavy goods vehicles nationwide.
The consistent lobbying of constituents has seen MPs within the Transport Committee seek to find new ways to enforce and provide clarity over existing pavement parking sanctions.
Lilian Greenwood MP, chair of the Transport Committee, said: “This is an area where some people’s actions cause real difficulties for others.
“Parking on pavements risks the safety of all groups of people, from the littlest to the oldest, with differing needs.
“While we’re also inquiring into Active Travel — how we get more people to get into walking and cycling — we need to make sure it’s safe to take to the streets. We want to hear from the public about the difficulties this presents and the solutions on offer.”
Members of the public are being asked to provide written evidence of the issues surrounding pavement parking to the Committee by 14th May 2019.
However, Edmund King, president of the AA, warns against a “blanket ban” which could have damaging consequences for commercial drivers.
Mr King said: “it is right that anti-social pavement parking, which prevents and restricts wheelchair users, blind and partially-sighted people and pushchairs travelling around our communities must be tackled”.
Nevertheless, King believes a “street-by-street assessment” is needed to define “where it may be suitable” to permit pavement parking.
“Where pavement parking is allowed, seven out of ten drivers say the bays should be marked out to show how much of the pavement can be used,” added King.
“Pavement parking poses problems on both inner-city streets and rural lanes, so the outcome needs to be tailored to the circumstances.”