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A step closer to better pavement parking laws?

The British Parking Association’s Kelvin Reynolds says reform of footway regulations is needed

Kelvin Reynolds
10 September 2020
It’s not OK to park on the pavement (Image: Living Streets)
It’s not OK to park on the pavement (Image: Living Streets)


Obstruction of the pavement by parked cars causes unnecessary danger to pedestrians and especially children, young people, the elderly and disabled people.

This is why the British Parking Association (BPA) welcomes the government’s consultation on improving pavement parking powers.

We have regularly called for a clear and consistent UK-wide common approach to pavement parking which enables local authorities to manage and enforce parking on the pavement, with the presumption being that pavement parking is not allowed.

A UK-wide BPA study found that the majority of people wanted anti-social parking to be dealt with as a priority. Pavement parking, congestion caused by school runs and parking too close to junctions together were cited by 56% as the ‘most urgent’ issues which need addressing.

Everyone knows that few, if any, of our towns and cities were designed to accommodate today’s high levels of vehicle ownership. In many residential areas with narrow roads and no driveways the pavement seems the only convenient place to park for a motorist without obstructing the carriageway.

But pedestrians have needs too and it is unsafe for them to have to move into the road when a car is parked on the pavement.

The new Highway Code puts pedestrians at the top of the road user hierarchy and they must have priority on pavements. Additionally, damage to the pavement and verges is also a financial burden for everyone, both in terms of highway maintenance and personal injury claims.

The consultation offers choices. Government must do all of this. We must reform and simplify the TRO process and decriminalise the enforcement of obstruction, as well as transforming the default position. It’s not OK to park on the pavement.

Kelvin Reynolds is director of corporate and public affairs at the British Parking Association (BPA)

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