The Government is to run a consultation about a national ban on pavement parking following the Transport Committee’s 2019 influential inquiry and report.
Pavement parking has a detrimental effect on people’s lives. A vehicle partially or wholly parked on a pavement creates an obstruction for those with visual or mobility impairments and those who care for others. The risks include physical dangers as well as social isolation and loneliness for those who feel unable to leave home safely.
Today’s Government Response to the Transport Committee outlines several actions the Department for Transport will undertake. While the Committee welcomes the positive response, clarity is needed on when these pledges will be achieved.
Outline of the Government's response
The Response outlines how the Department for Transport will:
- Include the problem of pavement parking and its impact on loneliness and isolation in a wider consultation on the Government’s Loneliness Strategy ‘in the near future’.
- Run a consultation about a national ban on pavement parking which will increase the profile of the issue nationally. This will increase understanding of the consequences in rural and urban areas, while promoting understanding of the impact on daily lives. There is no date for when the consultation will report.
- Consider a possible offence of ‘obstructive pavement parking’ or ‘unnecessary obstruction’ to enhance police powers. The DfT says that this could be enforced by police and local council but would require testing through consultation. This may require secondary legislation and will take time to define.
- Commit to further consultation on the specific changes required to Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) to meet the Committee’s recommendations. This further consultation will take place in 2020.
- Accepts the importance of civil parking enforcement (CPE). The DfT says it will move with ‘as much haste as possible.’ However, dates for planned secondary legislation (through Statutory Instrument) have changed and no new dates are given.
The Chair of the Transport Committee, Huw Merriman MP, said:
“I am pleased the Government has taken on board the previous Committee’s concerns about the very real difficulties presented by pavement parking and our proposed solutions. There is much to praise in this Response and we particularly welcome the Department for Transport’s intention to consult the public on how a ban on pavement parking would work for them. During this inquiry, our predecessor Committee received more than 400 pieces of written evidence, revealing the depth of concern. During a visit to my constituency, MPs were able to see for themselves the challenges presented by pavement parking and hear directly from particular groups in Bexhill-on-Sea.
“However, we have to now deliver this change. The Government promised to look into the issue in 2015 but consultations, roundtable events and internal reviews failed to lead to any actions to improve the experience of the public. This Government has signalled an intent to finally deliver change. We now need a detailed timeframe from the Department for Transport to ensure this happens.
“In publishing today’s Response, we are putting the Government on notice that we will be monitoring progress carefully. We look forward to reviewing progress on each of the pledges and our Committee has committed to a further evidence session in 12 months’ time to drive real change.”