Should Kirklees Council ban parking on the pavement?
Whether it’s a couple of wheels on the kerb or a full mounting of the footpath, laws could be changed to allow parking wardens to fine drivers of cars and vans that are on the pavement.
A widespread ban has been in place in London for 40 years but councils elsewhere have to use expensive Traffic Regulation Orders to prohibit pavement parking on certain roads.
The Local Government Association (LGA) – which represents more 370 councils in England and Wales – has now called for all councils to be able to impose bans if they want to.
With narrow roads common in most of the suburbs outside of Huddersfield, pavement parking is a common grumble in the borough.
Many estates were built in the 1960s and 70s when cars were much smaller, narrower and less prevalent.
And with a high proportion of terraced housing or homes with only space for one car on the drive, parking on the street has become far more popular.
Reports of vehicles on the pavement, forcing mums and dads with prams or wheelchair users into the road, are commonplace.
But motorists suffering damaged wing mirrors and scrapes from other vehicles squeezing through narrow gaps are also all too common, hence the reason many put part of their car on the pavement.
Worst of all, the emergency services and bus companies, frequently find their vehicles unable to proceed as parked cars have made the road too narrow.
Clr Mussarat Khan, Kirklees Council’s cabinet member for highways, said it would be difficult for Kirklees to bring a ban in.
“We can’t have a blanket policy because some of our roads are too narrow,” she said.
“A blanket ban on pavement parking may cause other road safety issues.
“I would welcome more powers for councils to tackle obstruction of pathways caused by vehicles parked on pavements.
“At the moment we can only alert the police, however, given their lack of resources it can be difficult.”
LGA transport spokesman Clr Martin Tett said: “Councils in the capital have been able to ban pavement parking for many years and it seems a nonsense that local authorities outside London remain unable to do this.
“Councils would carefully consult with communities before banning pavement parking and this is done sparingly in response to concerns which they have raised.
“This will enable them to better protect vulnerable pedestrians and provide a more consistent approach for all road users.”