Calls for pavement parking ban in Suffolk and Essex as authorities warn lives are being put at risk

Stock image of car parked on the pavement. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Stock image of car parked on the pavement. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Laws allowing councils to ban pavement parking in London should be rolled out across the country to crack down on inconsiderate motorists endangering lives, authorities say.

Parking on the pavement in St John's Street, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: JULIA WAKELAM

Parking on the pavement in St John's Street, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: JULIA WAKELAM - Credit: Archant

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, says all councils need extra flexibility to introduce bans if needed.

It is hoped heavier fines and an all-out ban on pavement parking could stop pedestrians – particularly the blind and parents with prams – from walking into roads and risking their lives.

Parking completely on the pavement is illegal and police are responsible for prosecuting those who do this.

But drivers who cover most of the pavement, or leave their vehicles on the kerb are either hit with fines or left to their own devices, something the LGA wants to change.

Claire and Simon O'Brien-Ellington are urging people to consider others when they park on paths, oft

Claire and Simon O'Brien-Ellington are urging people to consider others when they park on paths, often blocking wheelchair users and prams. - Credit: Archant


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Their call comes as communities across the region issue safety warnings about pavement parking.

Ipswich man Simon O’Brien-Ellington whose wife Claire is a wheelchair user launched a campaign urging drivers to stop parking on pavements last year.

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The 47-year-old said at the time: “Drivers often think people can get by but don’t think about wheelchairs. What about someone with visual impairment who has to step out into the road into the path of traffic, a bus, who knows what, to get round?

“Will it take an accident, until someone dies, to do something about it?”

People living in Essex also warned it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured – or even killed.

Earlier this month Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service and their Essex colleagues put out appeals urging drivers not to park on pavements because they are finding it increasingly difficult to navigate through residential streets.

LGA transport spokesman Martin Tett said: “Councils in the capital have been able to ban pavement parking for many years and it seems a nonsense that local authorities outside London remain unable to do this.

“Local authorities need this power to respond to concerns raised by their communities, for example if a street is becoming dangerously congested or pedestrians are being forced to step out into the street to get round parked vehicles.

“This is particularly dangerous for blind or partially-sighted people and mums and dads with prams.

He added: “Pavement parking and damaged pavements is one of the biggest complaints from pedestrians.”

Do you think a pavement parking ban would work where you live? Let us know in the comments below or send us an email.

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