Plans to make pavements accessible for all

Pavements could be made safer under new proposals to ban pavement parking.

The consultation is a key part of the post-Covid recovery that encourages more people to choose different ways to travel, such as walking, so it is important that pavements are made safer and more accessible for everyone.

Many of our streets were not designed for the high levels of traffic and number of vehicles that use them today. Parking on pavements can mean that pedestrians are forced into the road which is dangerous, especially for people who may be in a wheelchair, parents with pushchairs or people with a visual impairment or mobility difficulties.

It is not only dangerous but also discourages people from making journeys. A journey out independently can become an ordeal.

For people with living with sight loss, vehicles parked on the pavement make it stressful and dangerous to navigate.

Recent research from the charity Guide Dogs shows that 32% of people with vision impairments and 48% of wheelchair users were less willing to go out on their own because of pavement parking, decreasing independence and contributing towards isolation.

Cars and vans are parked on pavements can also make it difficult during the current pandemic to keep a safe distance from other pedestrians.

Three options are proposed in the consultation

  1. Improving the traffic regulation order process to make it easier for councils to prohibit pavement parking in their areas
  2. Giving councils powers to fine drivers who park on paths, and
  3. A nationwide ban on pavement parking

The consultation forms part of the government’s commitment to make transport equally accessible for all users by 2030, as set out in the Inclusive Transport Strategy.