Ask your MP to back the Pavement Parking bill now.

A message from Living Streets about Martin Horwood’s Pavement Parking Bill 2014, which is scheduled to receive it’s Second Reading on 12 September 2015.

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Dear Paul,

Pavement parking is a daily obstacle course that forces parents with children, older people and those with less mobility to walk unsafely in the road. Outside London, the law on pavement parking is confusing and makes it difficult for councils to crack down on irresponsible parking.

But right now we’ve got a chance to change this. We asked MPs to submit a bill to Parliament making pavement parking illegal, and Martin Horwood MP heard us. He’s tabled a bill that would prohibit pavement parking across England and Wales.

We have a rare chance to get the law changed and protect our streets all over the country. But Martin needs the support of other MPs for the bill to be progressed.

We need to act quickly – Martin Horwood’s bill reaches its second reading this Friday 12th September. Whether it goes any further depends on MPs supporting it in Parliament.

They need to know this is important to us. They need to hear what a difference could be made to people’s lives with a proper ban on pavement parking. Contact your MP now, asking them to attend the debate and support the bill.

The frustration and the dangers caused by pavement parking aren’t the only reason to act, it’s costing us a small fortune. Between 2006-10 council’s spent £1 billion on fixing pavements and £100 million on compensation to people hurt on damaged pavements. That money could be used for real improvements to streets, not just patching up damage caused by irresponsible parking.

Let your MP know now that you need a proper law on pavement parking. Email them now.

Thank you,

Anna Collins
Policy & Campaigns Coordinator, Living Streets

P.S. It’s important we act now on this rare opportunity, with the second reading just days away. Please take a moment now to contact your MP.

Exeter HATOC | Could the Slough model of pavement parking work in Cowick?

Yet again the issue of parking on pavements has surfaced, this time at the meeting of Exeter HATOC held on 22 July 2014.

 attended the meeting on in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item:

When this debate started a few years ago when Exeter HATOC wanted the section 30 of the 1987 Exeter Act which banned pavement parking  implemented,  I knew what I wanted. 

I wanted the provisions reinstated as I knew that parking on the pavement was

–         bad for those with mobility issues

–         bad for those (like my dad) with visual impairments

–         bad for mums using buggies 

But then I look what would happen to some of the streets in in my ward of Cowick. 

–         Merrivale Road might need to become one-way? 

–         Buses would no longer be able to get down Barley Farm Road?

I’ve not experienced it but I have seen a picture taken by Cllr Heather Morris where she was stuck behind a bus for many minutes as the bus driver honked his horn to try and get some cars to move. 

So is there a middle way that helps both?

Slough have just been piloting a scheme in some areas where a white line is painted on the pavement to indicate how far cars can encroach onto the pavement

These would be positioned so as to ensure that a wheelchair or buggy could still pass safely on the footpath 

I understand that local highways authorities have the power under Traffic Regulations Act 1984 to make TROs that allow for specific parking restrictions in specific areas, to deal with the demands of local circumstances. 

There are some streets in Cowick that already allow for pavement parking – they are so narrow that there are few other options. 

Is there any scope for a further exploration of the Slough model partial pavement parking provision?

The minutes of the meeting are available here.

Pavement parking off Alphington Road

I’ve already covered the problems of pavement parking and parking on corners in earlier blogs.

Over in Alphington, there’s series of small, narrow streets with plenty of corners (and little parking space) centred around Coverdale Road and Ebrington Road.

The Alphington Neighbourhood Beat Team have issuing a letter to the residents making them aware of these parking issues.

The letter reminds residents  the that parking too close to the junctions causes limited visibilty to drivers and pedestrians – and that by doing so, they are breaking the law.

The Alphinton NBT hope, that by issuing this letter, that residents will be considerate to others and not park in a dangerous or inconsiderate manner.

I hope that by issuing this letter to the residents it will make you aware of this parking issue and that you’ll make sure it’s kept clear of obstructing vehicles.

 

Let’s see if the letter  makes any impact and we’ll start to see that these streets are  kept clear of obstructing vehicles.

First thoughts on pavement parking

I’m often contacted about the issue of parking on pavement.

Surely it’s easy to stop pavement parking, isn’t it? You just don’t do it, as it’s against the law (and the Highway Code) and if you do, you can be given a ticket

Everyone seems  to think it’s illegal and against the law – I’m still trying to get my head round the problem, but this issue isn’t as simple as it seems to work out.

Let me try and explain.

Most parking and traffic issues are the direct responsibility of Devon Country Council acting as the highways authority.

In 1987, Exeter became one of the few places outside of London where parking on the pavement became illegal – under a by-law put forward by Exeter City Council known as the Exeter Act 1987. On all the outer borders of Exeter you’ll see a sign saying “No parking on footways, verges or central reserves”. This is a sign specific to Exeter and has to have special approval from the Secretary of State for Transport.

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No Pavement Parking gateway sign on Barley Lane [although it is actually facing the wrong way!]
So the situation was that Exeter City Council had a by-law that Devon County Council had to implement as highways authority.

Parking enforcement used to be carried out by traffic wardens, working for Devon and Cornwall Police. In this respect they issued parking tickets for parking on pavements.

In May 2008, responsibility for parking enforcement passed to Devon County Council [DCC] and they put in place a system whereby Exeter City Council – through Civil Parking Enforcement Officers – issue PCN tickets for stationary vehicle offenses as an agent of DCC [phew!]

In the transfer, someone somewhere forgot the Exeter Act.

In trying to resolve the issue over the past few months, the Department for Transport [DfT] have become involved and said that to be able to enforce the by-law those signs with SofS approval need to be more frequent – suggesting 1 every 450m of so. The cost of this would run into hundreds of thousands.

So at present DCC are negotiating with DfT over this issue – and its seems are currently at stalemate

DCC through the Exeter HATOC {Highways and Traffic Order Committee] on which I sit as an ECC elected member alongside all 9 DCC County Councillors ares till trying to resolve this matter.

More on pavement parking

Many residents were interested to read the article about the Exeter Act 1987 in our latest Newsletter. Many Cowick residents have contacted me about this – and the information even seems to have reached other wards, I’ve heard that Alphington residents are asking Cll Margaret Clark abouthe Exeter Act and the proposed intention for Civil Enforcement Officers to issue penalty notices for pavement parking from the Autumn.

The Exeter Act 1987 states:

The matter has been discussed at many meetings of the joint Devon County Council/Exeter City Council Highways and Traffic Orders Committees [HATOC]

To summarise
HATOC considered a report on the meeting on 2 February 2012 which resulted in the following minute:

118 Parking on Pavements and Enforcement
(In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Owen had asked that the Committee consider this item)

The Committee noted the report of the Head of Highways and Traffic Management (HTM/12/4 – text only | pdf ) on proposals for the County Council to take over parking enforcement from the Police (decriminalisation) regarding provisions within an Exeter City Council local Act implemented in 1987 in respect of prohibition of parking on verges, central reservations and footways.

The Neighbourhood Highway Group Manager reported that the Department of Transport has now published a Statutory Instrument that amends the schedules in the Traffic Management Act to decriminalise prohibition of parking on verges, central reservations and footways in Exeter City. The County Council would now check that the signs indicating the restricted areas and publicise that the provisions would now be enforced by Civil Enforcements Officers (and not the police). Current exemptions where permitted would still be applicable.

It was MOVED by Councillor Hobden, SECONDED by Councillor Leadbetter and
RESOLVED that this development be welcomed and that the new provisions be implemented as expeditiously as possible following appropriate consultation and publicity

Please note the resolution that the provisions of the Exeter Act be implemented as soon as possible.

The officers mentioned in the discussions on the report that they believed this could be in place to start enforcement in the autumn.

At the meeting of 24 April, this issue was again discussed by the committee:

*132 Implementation and Enforcement of Parking on Footways and Verges
In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Macdonald has requested that
the Committee consider this item.

(Councillor Bull attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

The Neighbourhood Highway Group Manager reported that a review of the signage and their replacement was underway. Implementation of the new enforcement powers by the County Council (through the Civil Enforcement Officers) was planned for September 2012. Exemptions would be permitted under the regulations.

My enquiry was based around people parallel parking over their own dropped kerbs, which it seems will be permitted as and when the provisions of the 1987 Act are implemented.

Yesterday I received the following response from the Highways Management Traffic Orders team about the timetable for implementation of the 1987 Exeter Act

Pavement Parking – Exeter
Thank you for your e-mail regarding pavement parking in Exeter.

We do not yet have a date when enforcement of Section 30 of the Exeter City Council Act 1987 will begin as we are still reviewing the signage required to enforce the restriction.

It appears that Devon County Council are in discussions with Department for Transport as there is a requirement to sign this restriction at each ‘gateway’ into the city (not too onerous) and provide repeater plates reminding motorists of the restriction every 450m or so similar to speed restriction signs (which is a major challenge).

The amount of signs needed would run into a cost of tens of thousands of pounds as well as adding to ‘signage clutter’ on the Highway.

DCC are approaching DfT to say this is rather a sledgehammer/walnut approach and trying to find out if there is there another solution.

Also, as this is a stationary vehicle offence, enforcement will be by Exeter City Council’s Civil Parking Enforcement Officers acting as agents for Devon County Council rather than D&C Police. I have been informed that their has been very little dialogue between officers at Devon County and Exeter City Councils since the spring.

So to surmise, the implementation if this is in the hands of the County Council, and I am doing my best to ensure this is implemented as soon as possible.

COWICK NEWSLETTER | Do you park on the pavement?

Except for specific exemptions such as Sussex Close and Wiltshire Close, under the Exeter Act you are not meant to park on the pavement.

This law prevents pavement parking which can block passage for wheelchair users, others with mobility difficulties and parents with buggies, as well as causing damage to the pavement and the utilities below.

There are some issues to do with city-wide signage that Devon County Council, as the highways authority, need to resolve but it is the intention to issue penaty charge notices from the autumn.

On a recent ward walk, Cllr Paul Bull noticed a possible flaw – people parking their cars over a dropped kerb access to their own driveway.

Investigations have revealed that parking here will not lead to a fine.

Freeing pedestrians from pavement parking blight

Councils told to use their powers to prevent parking on the pavement where it is a problem

The government is making it easier for councils to tackle pavement parking and stop it causing an obstruction to pedestrians, Regional and Local Transport Minister, Norman Baker, announced today (21 February 2011).

Vehicles parked on pavements can cause particular problems for people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and those with pushchairs. The minister has today written to councils prompting them to use their powers to prevent parking on the pavement where it is a problem.

Along with the letter, the Department for Transport has given all councils in England permission to use signs to indicate a local pavement parking ban. Until now councils have had to gain special signs authorisation from government each time they want to put a pavement parking ban in place.

While in some circumstances pavement parking is unavoidable – for example in narrow residential roads with no off-street parking – the government believes that in many cases it can be avoided. Pavement parking is completely banned in London.

Norman Baker said:

“Parking on the pavement can be selfish and dangerous, putting pedestrians – especially those with disabilities or using pushchairs – in danger. If a vehicle is blocking the pavement then people often have no choice but to walk in the road where they are at much greater risk of being involved in an accident.

“Most drivers are considerate and do not park on the pavement unless it is permitted or necessary. However, there is a selfish minority who do not use their common sense and dump their cars wherever it suits them without a second thought for others.

“I hope that reducing the bureaucracy involved in banning pavement parking will make it easier for councils to use their powers to tackle this nuisance and make life safer for everyone.”

Dai Powell OBE, Chair of the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee:

“Inconsiderate parking on pavements can stop disabled people from gaining access to services and can also put them at great risk if having to resort to using roads. This practice also damages pavements, causing trip hazards and costing local councils who have to undertake repairs.

“DPTAC welcomes the move by the minister encouraging local councils to use their powers to enforce the law, freeing our pavements to make them accessible to all.”

Further information:

In most areas of England (outside London), any specific footway parking ban is applied locally and indicated by traffic signs. A local authority can make a traffic regulation order to prohibit footway parking on a designated length of highway or over a wider area. This means the Council can target problem areas rather than applying a blanket ban.

Every English traffic authority has today been issued with the special authorisation necessary to use the appropriate signs.

Local authorities with civil parking enforcement powers can enforce this ban along with the Road Traffic Act 1988 prohibition on heavy goods vehicles parking on the pavement.

Pavement parking in London is banned by the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1974.

Local authorities can use physical measures such as high kerbs or bollards to prevent vehicles mounting the footway where footway parking is a particular problem. Such measures have the advantage of being largely self-enforcing.

That letter:


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Dear Leader

Tackling Pavement Parking Problems

I am writing to draw your attention to powers available to you to tackle pavement parking, and to advise you of further steps the Government are taking which may help you in this regard.

Parking on the pavement can cause serious problems for pedestrians, particularly people in wheelchairs or with vision impairments and those with prams or pushchairs. Indiscriminate pavement parking may also damage the footway, with the burden of repair costs normally falling on local authority maintenance budgets.

I know from my own experience that pavement parking can be a widespread problem that some local authorities have found difficult to address. I also appreciate that in some streets pavement parking may in practice be inevitable to maintain free passage of traffic whilst meeting the needs of local residents and businesses. For that reason, we are not proposing a blanket ban on pavement parking (although such a ban does in fact apply in London) but would encourage you to consider using the options available in a way that meets local needs.

It is now easier for you to implement and sign local bans for all vehicles.

Your traffic and parking teams are able to introduce local pavement parking bans, through a traffic regulation order (TRO), on a particular length of road or over a wider area. You will need to indicate the restrictions with the appropriate signs and we have designed new signs for area-wide bans. I am today issuing every English traffic authority with the special authorisation necessary to use these signs. your authorities authorisation is attached with this letter.

Heavy Good Vehicles

Section 19 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 prohibits heavy goods vehicles from parking on the pavement. This is a national ban and does not require a TRO or any signs. Therefore, if your authority has civil parking enforcement powers, you can already enforce against HGV pavement parking throughout your enforcement area.

Other ways to tackle the problem

Other options include the use of physical measures such as high kerbs or bollards to prevent vehicles mounting the pavement. Such measures have the advantage that they are very largely self-enforcing.

If you want to find out more

The Department proves detailed advice on the management of pavement parking at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/tpm/tmaportal/tmafeatures/tmapart6/pavementparkingmanagementres1744/

Future Proposals through our Review of Traffic Signs Policy

Finally I would like to tell you about our traffic signs review. I have specifically asked for this work to consider future options for making it easier for local authorities to manage pavement parking in future. We aim to remove regulatory burdens and unnecessary bureaucratic procedures. Where appropriate, this could mean removing the need for a TRO altogether, so as to effectively provide restrictions and prohibitions through traffic signs alone. I will make further announcements following the completion of the review in May this year.

I would be grateful for your help in tacking inconsiderate parking.

Yours sincerely,

Norman Baker

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