I’ve recently received an email response from Sandwell Councillor, Steve Melia, in relation to my Pavement Parking proposal. His response was informative as he explained the current legislation surrounding the issue:

“The authority’s civil enforcement officers act under powers of the Traffic Management Act 2004.  This gives them legal powers to enforce restrictions on the Highway. (example yellow lines).  Restrictions are applicable from the centre of the carriageway to the bordering private property (including footpaths and verges).  Therefore, any vehicle parked on a footway adjacent to a restriction can be issued with a penalty charge notice.” 

Obstructions reported to 101

The email goes on to explain that unless an area already has parking restrictions, Civic Enforcement Officers have no legal powers to tackle pavement obstruction. However, the police have powers and are able to issue a fixed penalty ticket if parking is causing an obstruction. I’m sorry to say that if I phoned 101 every time I came across an obstruction, I’d be on the phone half a dozen times a day!

The Councillor continues by explaining that the Government is considering legislation for a nationwide ban on pavement parking, which I was aware of. Although a public consultation were to be carried out, the outcome of it is yet to be announced. However, I was reassured to hear that Sandwell Council are advising local MPs that their support for a nationwide pavement parking ban would be “advantageous”. I would argue that it is absolutely essential for the safety of Sandwell residents.

The email concludes by reiterating that obstructions can be reported to the police by using their non-emergency number. As I said, I think I’d be on the phone several times a day and it won’t solve the problem.

Changing my focus

Having reflected on the Councillor’s response, it has made me think about this campaign and where my efforts should be placed. A local parking ban on pavements won’t solve the problem – this is a nationwide issue and I think I need to lobby all MPs, to ensure that when the time comes, they vote in favour of the nationwide pavement parking ban. In reality, I don’t think Sandwell will consider a ban if they think a nationwide ban is on its way regardless.

Pavement Parking ban benefits everyone

I’m also keen to show that this isn’t just about the safety of disabled people. My son has been a pupil at two local primary schools and both have voiced concerns about dangerous parking around the schools. One had a serious accident, resulting in a child being knocked over. A pavement parking ban would help ensure that children get to and from school safely.

So in short, I’ll continue to write about this and do whatever I possibly can to ensure that the Nationwide Ban is successful. This is too important to give up on.