Sustainable transport charity Sustrans said the practice of pavement parking was “discriminatory” towards disabled members of the public. Disabled people often find their routes blocked and struggle to get around due to cars parked on pavements, the charity said.
The charity also warned that efforts to get more people to walk and cycle would be “impossible” unless pavement parking was outlawed.
Xavier Brice, Sustrans’s chief executive, said: “The evidence is clear that people wish to feel safe and welcome while walking and wheeling, and without parked vehicles getting in their way.
“Pavement parking is discriminatory against wheelchair and mobility scooter users, other disabled people, those with visual impairments and more.
“The UK Government’s target is for half of all journeys in towns and cities to be cycled or walked by 2030.
“Achieving this will be impossible unless we do more to make walking and wheeling more accessible and inclusive. A vital first step is to ban pavement parking.”
In March 2020, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that he was considering extending the current ban in London to the rest of England to end “very real difficulties for many pedestrians”.
In London, pavement parking has been banned since 1974 and while the Highway Code advises against it, pavement parking is not against the law in the rest of the UK.
Outside of the capital, you are permitted to partially park on the pavement so long as you are not causing an obstruction.
The Highway Code reads: “You must not park partially or wholly on the pavement in London, and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it”.
A ban on pavement parking is expected to be introduced in Scotland next year.
Police can currency only take action against cars obstructing a pavement but a ban would extend powers to enforce more fines.
A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: “We want everyone to be able to enjoy the benefits of cycling and walking and our plans are supported by an unprecedented £2billion package of funding for active travel over five years.
“We are actively considering the options for addressing pavement parking and we will announce next steps as soon as possible.”
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