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.