I detest footway parking. It’s antisocial, anti-people, damages the very fabric of the footway and helps to perpetuate the dominance of cars in our streets and places.
It’s back in the news again (for England at least) with an announcement by the Government that there will be a 12-week consultation on footway parking in the summer which doesn’t quite match the headline suggesting that something is actually being done – “Transport Secretary acts to make pavements safer for pedestrians”; I’m a cynic, but I hope this is the beginning of the end.
I’ve gone into detail before on the subject from a legal point of view and indeed offered views on how we’ve got here. I’m not going to go through the legals again and as for getting to where we are, it remains a combination of people not thinking of others when they park and a political decision not to deal with it is previously. So, fingers crossed.
When we look at the attitudes of some people, it’s no small wonder when we see the “leadership” from motoring organisations. In response to the news, the AA said;
“An outright ban could lead to unintended consequences with parking chaos becoming more widespread. A better solution would be for councils to make a street-by-street assessment and where pavement parking could be allowed it be clearly marked and signed.”
When the ban was being talked about at the end of last year, the RAC said;
“The issue of pavement parking is divisive, with motorists often left with little option but to park on the kerb on some narrower residential roads, to allow access for other cars and emergency services. But for many pedestrians including wheelchair users and those with visual impairments, these cars block vital paths, leaving them feeling isolated and unable to access services.”
The statements are reflective of the attitudes I have experienced from people more generally in that most are mortified that they might be stopping disabled people from using the streets, but because of the need to get emergency vehicles through, they have no option but to park on the footway; it never seems to dawn on somebody that the solution might actually be for them to park somewhere else.