Bexhill and Battle MP, Huw Merriman, has welcomed an announcement from the Department of Transport which could lead to the introduction of fines for motorists who park on pavements. In London, parking on a pavement has been a breach of the Highway Code for over 40 years and can lead to a parking ticket unless the road has been exempted. The Department of Transport have now signalled that a Government review will consider extending these powers outside of the capital.
Huw said "Last year, I wrote to the Roads Minister asking for this power to be extended to the high streets in my constituency where inconsiderate parking is making it difficult for pedestrians to use pavements. This is a dangerous practice and, in Bexhill in particular, there are a number of drivers who have absolutely no consideration for others and will only stop if it hits them in the pocket."
Last year, the MP spent time walking blindfolded around Bexhill town centre with a guide dog. This experience was organised for him by Guide Dogs for the Blind who wanted to highlight the problem of pavement parking. Huw commented "Those most impacted by anti-social pavement parking tend to be those who have disabilities or are with young children. I have contacted the Roads Minister to support the review and I look forward to meeting him when Parliament returns in order to lobby for safer streets in our communities."
It is not clear if the changes would apply to the 15 local authorities in the UK, which include Rother and Wealden, where parking fines can only be issued by the police rather than local authority traffic wardens. The MP added "As welcome as it would be to have new powers to fine those who are parking on pavements, we need to make sure that we have civil powers to enforce all parking offences. If civil enforcement was introduced to Rother then we could not only enforce new powers but existing offences as well. Enforcement is badly needed to free up parking spaces and deliver safer streets. This would reduce congestion and encourage more shoppers to our high streets."