Motorists face £70 fines for parking on pavements in crackdown to promote walking in towns and cities

MOTORISTS could face £70 fines for parking on pavements in a government crackdown to promote walking in towns and cities.

The Department for Transport said it could extend a complete ban on parking on a curb, which is already in place in London, to the rest of England.

The all-out ban on pavement parking will be considered by ministers under proposals published today, reports the Times.

The DoT said that three options would be deliberated which included extending the London ban across the country.

The restriction would allow local authorities to give out fines of £70 on those who flouted the rules.

It said the move would be of most benefit to people with impaired vision and mobility and parents with pushchairs.

The second option proposed would be to streamline existing powers for councils to make it easier for them to impose legal notices to regulate vehicles on certain streets.

Alternatively, a third option would be to create a civil offence of “unnecessary obstruction”, which would allow councils to penalise drivers without issuing an all-out ban.

Parking on the pavement has been banned in London since 1974 although the council permits cars to park on the curb in certain circumstances.

Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, said: “Parking on pavements means wheelchair users, visually impaired people and parents with pushchairs can be forced into the road, which is not only dangerous but discourages people from making journeys.

“A key part of our green, post-Covid recovery will be encouraging more people to choose active travel, such as walking, so it is vital that we make the pavements accessible for everyone.”

'Wild West'

Also included in the proposals by the government was reducing the cap on the fees private parking companies can charge drivers to £40.

This has been due to complaints from the public that the industry has become an unregulated "Wild West".

An appeals system could also be introduced aimed at eliminating penalties for motorists who make genuine errors.

The initiative proposes a tiered system for parking fines with a cap for less serious offences to stay between £40 and £80.

The AA said it opposed an outright ban on pavement parking.

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy, told the Times: “Local authorities should make a street-by-street assessment and where pavement parking is allowed, markings should show how much pavement can be used.

"While councils have always had the powers to tackle problem parking, it would be typical if the only time they act is when there is fines income to be had from it.”

However, David Renard, transport spokesman at the Local Government Association, told the Times: “Pavement parking and damaged pavements are the biggest complaints from pedestrians, and not just in London.

“The [association] has long called for the ban on pavement parking to be extended to all areas of England, with councils able to make exemptions, so we are pleased government has launched this consultation.”

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