Sunday, 22 February 2015

Salford Advertiser
Pavement Parking Article

I was recently quoted in an article in the Salford Advertiser newspaper, a sister newspaper to the Manchester Evening News, regarding the 'pavement parking' issue that is currently going through Parliament.

Backing for Ban on Pavement Parking

Salfordians have welcomed plans to make it illegal for motorists to park on pavements. A bill is currently moving through Parliament which would make it an offence to park on foot-paths. It is being backed by the charities Guide Dogs and Living Streets who say pavement parking causes a risk to pedestrians forced to walk on the road, as well as damage to kerbs.

Barbara Keeley, MP for Worsley and Eccles South, is also supporting the bill, claiming the laws are 'confusing for motorists and dangerous for pedestrians.'

The move has also won the backing of Advertiser readers. Posting on our Facebook page, Kimberley Burrows said "I'm a new Guide Dog owner and welcome this completely. I'm constantly having to walk out into the road because parked cars become obstacles and barriers for myself and my dog to try and navigate around. It's disorientating and alarming to have to go out into the road with very little vision in just one eye but I'm left with no alternative sometimes.'

And Anna Plaskett said: "As a paramedic, I struggle to get down a lot of streets with cars on either side. I often have to find alternative ways to get to my destination as the roads are not passable, meaning whoever has phoned 999 had to wait that bit longer." But she added, "Making people park on the roads and not have tyres on the pavement will make the emergency services jobs harder, plus bin lorries and other large vehicles."

Salford council can only currently fine drivers if there are traffic regulations on the road, while the police can take action if the vehicle is judged to be causing an obstruction or parked dangerously. Councillor Derek Antrobus, Assistant Mayor for strategic planning, said: "We would welcome any additional powers to tackle the problem of nuisance parking but would urge some flexibility for those streets where residents have no alternative but to use the pavement and they do not cause a problem for wheelchair users and prams."

Inspector Phil Bromley, of GMP's Traffic Network Section, said: "Anything that enhances road safety by freeing up pavements for pedestrians is to be welcomed, as vehicles on pavements can obstruct vulnerable people who use the verge or footway."

The bill's second reading in Parliament was due to take place on March 27th. But because it seems unlikely to be debated so close to the General Election, another date may be chosen by the MP.