27 Nov 2015.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

Some Pavement Parking is Useful
So Don't Just Ban It All

Local authorities will be given the right to ban all pavement parking by default on all urban roads where the speed limit is 40 mph or less.

(The Pavement Parking Bill is due for its second reading in the House of Commons on 4th December)

Having examined the Bill in detail, we can only find mention of a default blanket ban.

  1. Councils, especially those with a zealous desire to "get people out of their cars", will apply blanket bans wiping out whole neighbourhoods of on street parking in residential roads where there is no alternative (apart from obstructing the highway),
  2. A proliferation of yellow lines would result, making life extremely difficult for car-owning residents.
  3. Anyone who continued to park partially on a pavement, whether obstructing or not, would likely become the target of widespread enforcement action by local enforcement officers, tasked with "clearing" whole areas of parked vehicles - and making a mint for the local authorities in the process from penalties.
Director Ian Taylor said,
“I emphasize that the ABD does not condone irresponsible parking that obstructs pavements; any more than that which blocks road carriageways, (this is already covered in law). However, there are places where sensible pavement parking would and should take place without obstructing anyone - and would indeed help keep traffic flowing.

The proposals within the Bill are hugely disproportionate, unfairly punishing the majority of sensible and considerate drivers looking to balance pedestrian access with minimal obstruction of other road users.

This needs to be catered for in the Bill, not banned unless left to the "generosity" of local authorities, who can already take action to ban it where that is necessary.”
The ABD therefore opposes this Bill as it stands; in its present form we would wish to see it voted down.

If passed, we would at the very least like to see;-
  1. An amendment to remove blanket default ban, specifying restrictions only where there was a case for preventing obstruction.
  2. Instruct councils to specifically allow pavement parking where suitable.
  3. The one metre rule. We propose that a good definition of not obstructing pavement would be that a minimum of one metre of pavement width be left free.
That could be the basis of a high profile education campaign and enforced on a case-by-case basis.

On a recent holiday, ABD director Ian Taylor found this eminently common-sense approach to pavement parking in Riga, Latvia.

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