CycleSheffield response to the Transport Committee pavement parking enquiry

Information about the enquiry

Photos credit @ParkinginSheff

Pavement parking is inconsiderate and often dangerous. It has a significant negative effect on attempts to promote and enable active travel in our city. In Sheffield the problem seems to be out of control, we see more and more of it, receive and make more and more complaints and the authorities seem to struggle to deal with the issue.

It negatively affects walking by causing obstructions to pavements. Often the pavements are completely obstructed. Examples:

This is particularly inconsiderate and often dangerous for more vulnerable people, for example children, old people, visually impaired people and mobility impaired people. It also disproportionately affects people with prams, buggies or pushchairs, wheelchair users and mobility scooter users, often forcing them out into the road. Example:

It negatively affects cycling by causing obstructions to segregated cycle paths. Examples:

It negatively affects cycling by causing obstructions to advisory on road cycle paths by cars parked partially on the pavement. Example:

Badly or illegally parked cars are one of the main complaints we get from people who are trying to make their journeys by bike in Sheffield.

There is a lack of clarity as to what can be enforced (eg whether parking restrictions indicated by road markings apply to the entire highway or just the road) . There is also a lack of clarity as to who is responsible for enforcement (eg police or local authority).

We encourage people to report incidents however this lack of clarity makes reporting incidents difficult and frustrating and ultimately puts people off. Local authorities and the police are also able to take advantage of this lack of clarity to avoid taking action if they do not wish to do so.

The fact that some parking restrictions apply to the entire highway and some just the road seems arbitrary, for example, allowing vehicles to be parked on the pavement alongside pedestrian crossing zigzag lines which would not be permitted if double yellow lines were present. It would make the reporting of incidents and enforcement easier and improve driver awareness of parking restrictions if these distinctions were removed so that all parking restrictions applied to the entire carriageway.

It is difficult and expensive for local authorities to introduce area wide Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO) to prevent pavement parking. For example in Sheffield we have been waiting several years for a city centre TRO banning pavement parking. The default position on all streets should be that pavement parking is not permitted.

Local authorities do not have enough powers to deal with the issue. English authorities outside London should have the same powers on parking enforcement as London authorities (parking on footways or pavements was banned in London in 1974).

Local authorities should be able to use CCTV cars to carry out parking enforcement to make their activities more effective.

People should be able to report pavement parking, submitting photographic evidence and the authority should be able to issue tickets without having to send out enforcement officers.

Fines need to be significantly higher to act as a deterrent. It may make enforcement more sustainable if done by councils, as they can directly fund enforcement through revenue from fines in a way that police cannot.

5 thoughts on “CycleSheffield response to the Transport Committee pavement parking enquiry

  1. I thought that driving (and cycing) on the footpath was illegal. If you can’t drive onto the path, you can’t park there can you?

    Thanks again Dexter for a really thorough review.

    1. Hi Fiona, very true – it is illegal to drive on the footpath although I think people have to be caught in the act of doing so. Once they are parked up I don’t believe this can be enforced.

      1. So the person who drove on the cycle way on Penistone road one morning and challenged by myself was doing this illegally? If this is the case then anyone who parks on the pavement opposite Hillsborough ground will regularly break the law as they drive down the pavement to rejoin the road. Can we call 101? Thanks for this Dexter, it is very good

  2. The LA should take as default that a car was driven to its parked position. If a vehicle was pushed because of a breakdown then documents for repairs would be evidence. It should not be arguable if the parked car on the pavement was driven there.

    I have seen car drivers now take this another step too far and use the pavement to drive along when an oncoming vehicle has to stop with no where to go.

  3. A business on the opposite side of the road to my flat has a problem where to park cars waiting for attention, so it parks them on the service road next to them, despite double yellow lines. Apparently traffic wardens are not allowed to issue parking tickets because this road is classified as ‘private’. The upshot is the road is so narrow as a result, delivery vehicles for the business cannot safely use it for unloading and so use the main road to park up for deliveries. At times of peak traffic, this can hamper access by emergency service vehicles, which make frequent use of the road for their route to the east of the city. In one recent incident late last year I saw motorists driving on the pavement in order to create a space for an ambulance to get through. Everyone happy with that? I am tired of trying to alert police and local politicians of the potential for a serious injury or worse or the impact on response times of this appalling situation.

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