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Opinion : Let’s see pavements reclaimed for the pedestrians!

| September 1, 2020

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There is nothing worse than walking along the pavement to find a car blocking your way.

Indeed ‘pavement parking’ is a big problem is some parts of High Wycombe, especially the residential areas.

My good self has lost count of the number of times I have seen someone pushing a child in a pram have to move out into the road because a parked car is blocking their way.

Pavement parking is probably one of the most anti-social things in towns of England today and surely ranks alongside bonfires in terms of incidents of nuisance.

However in London currently parking on the pavement is banned but not in the rest of England. Fear not, the law may be about to be changed as the Department for Transport has recently launched a consultation that could potentially see pavement parking outlawed throughout England.

Details of the ‘Pavement parking: options for change‘ consultation can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/managing-pavement-parking/pavement-parking-options-for-change.

Anyone can submit a response to the consultation at the following link https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/2XI2G/. The consultation closes on Sunday 22nd November 2020.

The consultation gives three options :

  • Option 1 – To rely on improvements to the existing Traffic Regulation Order system.
  • Option 2 – To enable local authorities to enforce against an offence of ‘causing an unnecessary obstruction of the pavement’, as deemed by the Civil Enforcement Officer.
  • Option 3 – To introduce a national prohibition on pavement parking, except at locations where local authorities choose to allow it.

From what my good self can see the first two options simply shift the problem to the behest of the local authority overseeing the local Traffic Regulation Order or the local Civil Enforcement Officer. To me this seems just more bureaucracy for the local authorities which will inflate the jobs and egos of those working for the powers that be with very little real difference for the ordinary people of the town.

In my option the third option is the best and will solve the problem of paving parking in an instant. Let’s see the pavements reclaimed for the pedestrians!

Not only does pavement parking cause problems for pedestrians but vehicles driving over the pavement must surely cause damage to the surface of the pavement itself resulting in additional costs to the local authorities to repair the pavements more often than is necessary.

Of course any law needs enforcement, all too often there are laws to prohibit things but sadly the powers that be don’t bother to enforce them or give certain offences very low priority.

If opinion three is implemented perhaps the fines could be set at a level that deters offending with direct action against the offending vehicle. For example if a vehicle was parked on the pavement then in my opinion someone should be able to call a number to report the incident and the vehicle should be immediately towed away and a release fine charged of 25% of the value of the vehicle.

All too often motoring offences result in a penalty charge notice being sent to the registered owner of the vehicle, however yours truly has heard of so many cases where the vehicle is registered to a false person at a false address thus allowing the rascal who committed the offence to escape.

Any system introduced under Option 3 should, in my view, be able to pay for itself from the fines raised and possibly give profit that can be put back into the local communities.

Can you imagine how nice it would be to walk along the pavements of High Wycombe without having to step out into the road to walk around a car parked on the pavement?

Now is your chance for the dream of parking free pavements to come true, all it needs is for enough people to respond to the survey choosing Option 3 and urban utopia will move a step closer!

What do you think?

My blogs are published regularly here on the WycombeToday.com website.

You can also follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ivor.wycombe or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Ivor_Wycombe.

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