I appreciate that vehicles parked on pavements can cause particular problems for people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and those with pushchairs.
I welcome the steps taken by the Coalition Government to make it easier for councils to tackle pavement parking. While there is an historic ban on pavement parking throughout London, elsewhere any local authority that has taken up civil enforcement powers may introduce a ban on pavement parking where it sees fit.
In 2011, Conservative Ministers gave all councils authorisation to use a sign banning parking on the pavement, removing the need to ask Whitehall for permission. Ministers also wrote to councils encouraging them to use their powers to prevent parking on the pavement where it is a problem.
Furthermore, last year Ministers again wrote to all English Traffic Authorities to remind them of their existing, wide-ranging powers to prevent people from parking on the pavement where it is a problem. The Department for Transport has also published guidance for traffic authorities highlighting the difficulties that pavement parking causes for pedestrians and detailing ways that it can be prevented.
I believe that local authorities are in the best position to decide where and whether pavement parking should or should not be permitted. In some streets pavement parking may in practice be inevitable to maintain the free passage of traffic.