Call for ban on dangerous pavement parking
Martin Fodor, councillor for Redland has co-ordinated Bristol Greens group’s submission to the House of Commons Inquiry into pavement parking on behalf of the Bristol Green group, highlighting the dangers and accessibility problems it causes and calling for a ban to be legally enforced by either local government or the police.
The parliamentary inquiry into pavement parking was set up following escalating local frustrations about the issue. Parking on pavements is a common complaint in many urban areas in the UK outside London (where it is banned).
Councillor Fodor cited the frequent case work in wards where residents have repeatedly raised frustrations over clogged streets, pavements inaccessible to disabled or elderly people, risk of car crashes caused by cars parked on corners, and the real danger that cramped streets might prevent emergency vehicles like fire engines getting to people’s homes in time. In February this year it was revealed that Avon fire crews have been delayed on multiple occasions by badly parked cars and are procuring smaller fire trucks.
The submission draws on the work of the Bristol Walking Alliance and adopts many of the same goals. It calls for clarification on the law and a ‘memorandum of understanding’ between the police and local government to resolve who enforces pavement parking, as well as public engagement, better design to make streets safer for children and people with disabilities, and a review of local Traffic Regulation Orders.
Councillor Fodor said: “For people in Redland and in other areas across the city this is a daily problem. Pavement parking means blocked pavements which means that parents with buggies or residents in wheelchairs or mobility scooters are often forced to walk in the middle of the road. It increases the risk of car accidents, slows down waste and recycling and the failure to manage these issues is already causing delays to emergency services in Bristol.
“I recognise that it’s a complex issue as often pavement parking is an attempt to free up space in the road for other vehicles, and ultimately we have to deal with the overcrowding of our streets that’s fuelling this behaviour. This problem won’t go away unless the council and the government take action – the way things stand I’m worried that it’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt or worse.
“At the moment there’s a confusion over whether this is a civil or a criminal offence. It’s time the government provided clarification on this. And, at the local level it’s frustrating that nothing is being done.”