Andy Bundy, from the Havant Area Disability Access Group talks about the problem of vehicles blocking pavements
The danger is well known to all of us, though maybe not appreciated by those who evidently cannot walk a little further from the car or van to the house.
If you’ve not already guessed it, I’m talking about vehicles parking on, and blocking, pavements.
As an act, unless violating existing traffic regulations (for example, double-yellow lines), traffic wardens can do nothing. It is officially illegal to block the pavement, as much as it is illegal to drive on the pavement.
The logic that one cannot park on the pavement without driving on it escapes those able to provide enforcement.
Legal or not, it does represent a low priority victimless crime (from a civil servant’s perspective) and thus receives little attention.
That said, if you call 101 for every car which fails to leave a nominal one metre of space to get past on the pavement, providing all requested details, then the higher the number of reports, the higher the priority. Around the country, there are plenty of campaigns running to make this illegal.
Locally we have the People Who Park Like Prats Facebook campaign, which is gaining cult status, as reported in The News last year (http://bit.ly/1HCoogs).
More helpful is the Pavement Parking (Protection of Vulnerable Pedestrians) Bill, a Private Members’ Bill introduced by MP Simon Hoare, which makes ‘further provision for the safety, convenience and free movement on pavements of disabled people, older people, people accompanying young children and other vulnerable pedestrians’.
The goal is to simplify the whole mess and give local authorities the power to take greater action. It affects everyone using the footpaths, especially children with or without parents, mobility vehicle users, the blind and partially-sighted community and many more.
What can we do? We can all write to our MPs to encourage them to support the Bill mentioned above.
We can report each vehicle blocking pavements to the police, and in areas with particular problems, contact your local councillors and ask them to support a Traffic Regulation Order to install parking controls.
We need YOUR help to spread these and other messages. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message on 07518 008 091.