Charity calls for pavement parking ban

The charity Guide Dogs has argued that blocking the pavement with a parked car is "inconsiderate and dangerous", especially for blind people.

It has been suggested therefore that a nationwide ban should be made on parking on virtually all pavements, except in special circumstances. This idea has already received support in a public poll.Currently there is already a ban on parking vehicles on footways for the majority of streets in London.

Outside of the capital city, however, there’s strictly no law in place which says motorists can’t park on pavements.

A poll hosted by YouGov and published by the Guide Dogs charity questioned 2,352 people in England, Scotland and Wales and seven out of ten people called for restrictions for the rest of the country.Also, eight out of ten respondents said they would back a new law that would employ tougher restrictions on parking on pavements.

Local English authorities outside of London do have the power to make an order prohibiting parking on the pavement.

If this is the case, then there will be signs which clearly point out on a particular road where parking on the pavement is specifically prohibited. The penalty for contravening this is a fixed penalty notice.

Parking a vehicle on the pavement can also lead to the ruling that the offence of obstruction is being committed.

The Guide Dogs Charity’s campaign manager, James White, commented: "It can be frightening for anyone who is forced to step into a road because the pavement is blocked by a van, car or other badly parked vehicle,"

"Now imagine you have to step into a road where you can’t see oncoming traffic. We want politicians to act, preventing this form of inconsiderate and dangerous parking."

While the topic has been hotly debated, how realistic a nationwide ban is for parking cars on pavements remains unclear. The Department for Transport (DfT) has faced similar calls in the past but has been reluctant to create a new law.

Previously the Department has explained that there’s no such national legislation, because of the wide range of circumstances and locations where pavement parking occurs.

DfT has previously commented: "For example in some narrow residential roads with a lack of off-street parking provision, drivers have little option but to park on the pavement to avoid causing traffic hazards."