Are you a serial pavement parker? If so, now is the time to start changing your habits, as police have warned that drivers could be fined for dangerous pavement parking, which forces pedestrians into the road.
The Department for Transport has been considering new laws to stop parking on pavements for some time – and Greater Manchester Police has now issued a warning on Twitter after a woman pushing a baby in a pram had to step into the road to avoid a dangerously parked car.
At the moment, parking on the pavement is only illegal in London, where drivers can be fined £70 for doing so unless permitted by the borough authority. Elsewhere in England, pavement parking is not banned but councils can impose bans in specific areas, and can fine drivers for parking on the kerb if their car is causing an obstruction or parked on the pavement where there are yellow lines.
Rule 22 of the Highway Code already advises drivers that they should not park on the pavement unless signs permit it, adding: "Parking on the pavement can obstruct and seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and people with prams or pushchairs." However, it’s at the discretion of police whether they fine drivers who do so. New laws, however, might allow councils to emulate London and make it illegal to park on the kerb without express permission.
Earlier this year, various bodies accused the Department for Transport of stalling over the issue, which ministers had said they would take action on in 2015. Roads minister Jesse Norman commissioned a review of pavement parking regulations in March this year.
Transport charity Sustrans, the British Parking Association and the Royal National Institute for the Blind have all called for swifter action from the government. Not only can pavement parking be dangerous for pedestrians, it can also damage kerbs, verges and pavements – which then have to undergo costly repairs.
Of course, the introduction of yet more fines for drivers is unlikely to be popular. According to confused.com, the average driver already racks up almost £10,000 worth of parking charges and fines over a 25-year period. Adding another regulation that results in fines would surely only cause further resentment towards councils.
Motoring editor at confused.com, Amanda Stretton says, “It’s incredibly important that the street sides are clear to prevent any obstacles for pedestrians, but councils must recognise that parking is already a struggle for most drivers due to the lack of a spaces and existing restrictions.”
Pavement parker or not, if you’re looking for a great deal on a used car, Carwise Group is the place to come. As used car dealers in Maidstone, Harlow and Dunstable, we’re able to offer customers across the south east a huge variety of pre-owned cars to choose from. You can see them all online now, and book a test drive if you find one you’re interested in – we’re open seven days a week.