As someone who has campaigned for years to end the practice of pavement parking, I welcome news the Department for Transport is looking at fining people up to £70 for obstructing streets in this way. This rule has been in place in London since 1974 and roll out to the rest of England is over 40 years overdue. Pavement parking is a menace, not just for British Polio Fellowship members using wheelchairs and mobility scooters, but for parents with pushchairs, the blind, the elderly and schoolchildren alike. I have never favoured a blanket ban, but sadly, fines may be the only way to make people consider others and park considerately.
The first laws banning pavement driving date to 1835. Times have changed and where emergency services would be unable to pass without pavement parking, common sense should prevail. Narrow roads where measures are impractical are no excuse for inaction. A reverse of today’s situation, making pavement parking the exception, not the rule – with power to decide locally on exceptions – will kerb the worst offenders.
It is nice to see a particular bete noire of mine in Lincolnshire being addressed nationally and I look forward to transport minister Jessie Norman’s conclusions later this year. If you’re one of the 120,000 people in the UK who’ve had Polio and now have Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) and struggle with your local pavements and other accessibility issues, visit www.britishpolio.org.uk or call 0800 043 1935.
National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship