The House of Commons Transport Committee is to visit Bexhill-on-Sea to see the difficulties presented by pavement parking, talk to some of the groups most affected and explore the options available to local authorities to deal with the problem.
Parking on pavements creates real challenges. For those with visual difficulties, who use mobility aids, those who are neurodiverse or need to navigate footpaths with wheelchairs or buggies, unpredictable hazards such as parked cars represent potential danger. Since launching the inquiry in April, the Committee has received more than 400 pieces of written evidence.
‘Pavement parking’ is when one or more wheels of a vehicle are on the footpath. Lack of progress tackling pavement parking has led many groups to campaign on the issue and although it is regularly raised with MPs by their constituents, the Government has taken no action on this issue, despite a commitment in 2015 to look at the issue.
Bexhill: a case study
On Thursday, 27th June, Huw Merriman MP will host colleagues from the Transport Select Committee in his constituency of Bexhill and Battle. Taking Bexhill as a case study, the Committee hopes to see some of the difficulties presented by pavement parking, hear concerns from local residents and explore the solutions which would help local government take action on this issue.
Following a walkabout through the town, the Committee will meet with officers from Rother District Council and East Sussex County Council before holding a public engagement session to hear first-hand the experiences of both road and pavement users from the town.
Chair of the Transport Committee, Lilian Greenwood MP, said:
“Pavement parking is an issue which causes real difficulties for many people. It risks the safety of all groups of people, but particularly affects people with visual or mobility impairments, those who are neurodiverse, children and parents with prams and pushchairs. We heard last week how pavement parking can lead to people being afraid to go out and becoming isolated and trapped at home. We can talk as much as we like about getting people out of their cars onto public transport and making more journeys by foot, but while they feel unsafe, it is a much harder argument to make. We’re coming to Bexhill to hear about the difficulties which pavement parking presents and what the solutions might be. We’re looking forward to visiting and thank Huw for hosting us.”