Parking on pavements could be banned across England under government plans to ease journeys for disabled people and parents pushing prams.
Parking on footways is banned in London but elsewhere in the country it is only prohibited for lorries, with local authorities left to introduce prohibitions on a street-by-street basis. It is currently an offence to cause an unnecessary obstruction on the highway, which is only enforceable by the police.
The DfT said it wants to make pavements safer for people with disabilities and families by banning anti-social parking. The department said parking on pavements disproportionately affects people with visual or mobility impairments, those assisted by guide dogs, and wheelchair and mobility scooter users.
Disabled people say that pavement parking is a significant barrier to carrying out daily journeys. A review of the issue conducted by the DfT indicates that more than 95% of wheelchair users and people with visual impairments say they have faced problems as a result of vehicles parked on pavements. Recent research from the charity Guide Dogs shows that 32% of people with vision impairments and 48% of wheelchair users were less willing to go out on their own because of pavement parking, decreasing independence and contributing towards isolation.
Three options are proposed in the consultation:
However, the department says there is still a major role for cars and other private vehicles, so any future plans will need to take this into consideration. The consultation period began on 31 August 2020 and will run until 22 November 2020.
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