Across the UK, pavement parking is a common problem for residents, pedestrians, local authorities and communities.
It’s a hot topic, and an issue that causes significant difficulties for many users of pavements. And yet outside of London, there is no law that prevents vehicles from parking on pavements – a common site in many residential areas.
But it seems pressure is mounting to change this. Couple potential new regulations with the recent changes to double yellow line enforcement, and motorists could soon be avoiding on-road parking altogether.
This will undoubtedly increase demand for parking spaces.
Extensive support to update laws on pavement parking
The British Parking Association (BPA) recently reported on police forces across the country cracking down on pavement parking. In the West Midlands, 14 drivers were fined for obstruction in the same day, on the same street.
They are calling for the public to contact their local MPs and ask for them to focus on pavement parking.
There has also been a renewed campaign by the Guide Dogs charity to combat pavement parking as an obstruction to the blind and partially sighted, and a call by PATROL – the organisation which represents local authorities in parking and traffic regulation – to tackle the issue with new Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO).
With multiple organisations wanting to address the issue, it’s clear that there is large demand for changes to pavement parking.
A standard, consistent law across England could take a long time to implement, as several regulations would need to be changed and modernised. But the chief adjudicator of the Traffic Penalty Tribunal has suggested that ‘obstruction’ could be added as a contravention that falls under ‘civil enforcement’.
This solution would allow councils to begin to issue PCN’s for the worst instances of pavement parking.
The dangers of pavement parking
Parking on the pavement can cause serious obstructions to those who use the pavement to move around. Parked cars:
- Prevent disabled users from getting past – as wheelchairs or mobility scooters cannot fit
- Cause problems for those with pushchairs and prams
- Are dangerous for users with visual impairments and guide dogs
- Increase difficulties for elderly walkers.
Control over double yellow line enforcements to change for some councils
As well as the potential changes to pavement parking, some areas of the country will face a change in the way double yellow line enforcement is handled.
The BBC recently reported on a loophole in the law which has prevented 21 councils in England from issuing PCN’s for illegally parking on double yellow lines.
In these areas – which include South Oxfordshire, Telford, North Warwickshire, South Cambridge, Suffolk and Wealden – police are currently responsible for penalty notices.
With higher priorities to deal with, parking infractions are often ignored.
However, responsibility is transferring to local councils in these areas to free up time for police and ensure parking problems are dealt with more efficiently.
This means motorists in these areas will soon face a crackdown on double yellow line parking.
What does this mean for private car park owners?
With some areas facing a new focus on illegal double yellow line parking, and the potential for new rules on pavement parking, it’s likely that motorists will be seeking new places to park – to avoid paying parking charges or getting a PCN.
In urban locations, private car park owners could find more and more motorists trying to use their car parks unauthorised.
The reduction in available space – if pavement parking is banned in certain places – will see an increased demand on all car parking spaces too.
It will be essential then, to have effective car park management in place to prevent unauthorised use and maintain access for customers who require it.
If you’re concerned about the unauthorised use of your car park, or want to ensure spaces are available for those who need it, then get in touch with us today to discuss an effective solution.