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Parking on pavements: a new UK Government consultation

September 7th 2020

The UK Government last week launched a fresh consultation on what to do about car drivers parking on pavements. 

The government is determined to make sure that everyone, including disabled people, can make full use of the UK’s transport system, which includes public walkways and pavements, as well as the road and public transport. Pavement parking has been highlighted as a particular problem for wheelchair users, people with visual impairments and those with prams or buggies.

It also recognises that there are significant problems that car drivers face, such as parking in narrow streets and the need to park without obstructing the highway, as well as partially obstructing the flowing roadway - an issue that will be immediately familiar to bike riders, and soon likely to be a problem for rental e-scooter riders too.

Since 1974, parking on pavements has been prohibited in Greater London, with exemptions permitted in designated locations. The reverse applies in the rest of England, where parking on pavements and verges is permitted unless specifically prohibited.

The government is now consulting on three broad options, whether to:

  1. Maintain and improve the current system, under which local authorities can prohibit pavement parking in specific situations where it is recognised as a problem;
  2. Change the law to give local authorities more powers to take action against “unnecessary obstruction of the pavement”;
  3. Introduce new legislation to enact a London-style pavement parking prohibition throughout England.

From experience, we know that many of our customers are concerned about the free flow of traffic. We also know personal safety is essential, and a leading concern of many considering electric scooters as a potential addition to their personal transport mix. This means that e-scooters and bikes (electric bikes or otherwise) shouldn’t be used where they might pose a threat to pedestrians.

Pavements are for people - not cars, bikes or e-scooters. If we can get our road infrastructure and parking laws right, everyone will have their place and won't need to encroach on anyone else's space.

Cars should be able to move through cities freely, but without detracting from residents’ quality of life. Parking is a difficult issue where competing interests need to be balanced against each other.

We'll keep close tabs on the development of this consultation, but if you have a view on what the government should do, we’d love to hear what you think. You can get in touch to share your opinions via Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

Find out more on the UK Government's latest consultation here

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