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Independent readers call for ‘selfish’ pavement parking to be banned across England

Have your say: The vast majority of Independent readers were in favour of a ban, calling drivers who park over the pavement ‘ignorant’

Friday 16 February 2024 07:00 GMT
Some readers said fines should go toward enforcing a pavement parking ban (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Some readers said fines should go toward enforcing a pavement parking ban (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Archive)

You’ve slammed your car door, pressed the lock button on your keys and proceeded to walk away from your vehicle, wheels firmly mounted on the curb.

Is this a “selfish” move, or simply a necessity in a “not traffic-friendly” area?

A report published by councils last week recommended that powers to ban pavement parking should be extended across England.

So we asked you if you thought banning pavement parking was a good idea.

The vast majority of Independent readers were in favour of a ban, calling drivers who park over the pavement “ignorant” and “annoying”.

While most called for an outright ban, several readers were keen to emphasise that “poor urban planning” in towns and villages across the country is partly to blame for the escalating number of cars blocking paths for pedestrians and wheelchair users.

Here’s what you had to say:

‘Read the Highway Code’

Yes, ban all pavement parking across the UK.

We live in a medium-sized village and are constantly having to walk onto the road despite the road being wide enough for vehicles to park on the road without causing an obstruction.

That and cars parked on the pavement where there are double yellow lines because they think they are then not breaking the law - they need to read their Highway Code.


‘Pavement parking must be prohibited everywhere’

Yes, I fully agree: pavement parking must be prohibited everywhere.

Pavements are a no parking area for cars. Cities and streets are no longer a privileged place for cars and other motor vehicles.

The time has come to take into account much stronger the needs of pedestrians, old and handicapped people, children, and bicycle drivers.



Yes. Ban cars on pavements.

After all, when people walk on the roads, they get tooted at and even knocked down.

Get these selfish, ignorant people to behave and not park on pavements...


‘The fault lies with so-called Town Planners’

Pavements are for pedestrians. But vehicles should not park where they prevent other vehicles, including emergency ones, from passing.

The fault lies with so-called Town Planners who have reduced parking and road sizes to discourage people from owning cars/vehicles for decades. What planet are they from?

In other countries they provide nearby parking areas, particularly for commercial (white) vans. In this country, there is nothing, except pavements!


‘Our towns and villages are not traffic-friendly’

The reality is that many of our towns and villages are not traffic-friendly, either human or vehicular, because of the way they have evolved. For the motorist, it is a question of blocking the street or the pavement. Neither is desirable.

As a wheelchair user, I would like it if it was possible for all traffic to remain on the road, but I also have to say that the state of the pavements leaves much to be desired. The road is much less painful on the old bones at times.


‘Incentives for smaller cars’

There are far more cars than ever, and due to safety measures such as crumple zones they are getting larger.

Many cities and towns still retain much of their 19th century footprint with streets for horse-drawn vehicles.

This leaves the paradox:

Park on the street and block traffic, including emergency vehicles.

Park on the pavement and obstruct pedestrians including wheelchairs and buggies.

How many people need a large saloon or “Chelsea Tractor” ?

Could more incentives for smaller cars persuade people to choose them?


‘Poor urban planning’

Testimony to poor urban planning to not have adequate parking available. The street is for vehicles, the pavement is meant for pedestrians and parking on it should be ticketed and fined.

If only there were a way to enforce the law. Most drivers have the comfort of driving to a location, I simply don’t understand what the issue is about abled drivers parking on an adjacent street and walking a short distance to their destination. That would exempt drivers with blue badges, of course.


‘Penalty charges should pay for enforcement’

I struggle to walk with a stick these days and find it really annoying to have to step into the road to get past a vehicle blocking the pavement. But, as below, if they had to park on the road, the bin lorries and fire engines would not be able to get through. And when I have my stroke or heart attack, quite likely, neither would the ambulance.

On many railway stations these days there is a yellow line on the platform to keep people away from the moving trains. Between the yellow line and the wall there is room for push-chairs, wheelchairs and other assistance vehicles. Why not a yellow line on the pavement past which no tyre should spread? Penalty charges should pay for the road-by-road assessment and enforcement.


‘Forget having your bins emptied’

If they introduce it where I live, you can forget having your bins emptied, having your burning house put out or having anything delivered in anything larger than a Ford transit.


Some of the comments have been edited for this article. You can read the full discussion in the comments section of the original article.

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