Bill was withdrawn on guarantee of Government action in 2015 but residents and charities still waiting
Stephen Morgan MP has written to Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, pressing for long-awaited action on pavement parking in Portsmouth.
In December 2015, a Private Member’s Bill that would have extended the benefits of London’s pavement parking system to the rest of England and Wales was withdrawn on the basis that the Department would conduct research on the legal and financial implications of an alternative regime.
In 2016 and 2017 the Government narrowed the focus to surveying traffic regulation orders. With no public update on the TRO survery, the Government then indicated in April 2018 that they would return to a wider review of pavement parking legislation.
Now Stephen Morgan has called on Mr Grayling to take personable responsibility for legislation and to keep his Government’s promises to blind and partially sighted people in Portsmouth and across the country. Writing to the Secretary of State for Transport, Stephen said:
‘The Government appears to have halted impetus on this issue, leaving us no closer to a Bill to standardise an approach to pavement parking across the UK.
Almost three years on from the Government’s commitment to Mr Hoare, Portsmouth people are still waiting; I would like to know when they can expect to see legislation introduced?’
During a meeting in Parliament earlier this year, Stephen heard from guide dog owners dealing with these obstacles that pavement parking can leave them scared and reluctant to go out.
According to a Guide Dogs survey, 97% of blind and partially sighted people have encountered obstacles on the pavement. The most common obstacles were cars parked on the pavement: 9 out of 10 have had problems with pavement parking. Pavement parked cars force pedestrians into the road to face oncoming traffic. This is particularly dangerous for people with vision impairments, parents with pushchairs, wheelchair users and other disabled people.
In separate research by YouGov for Guide Dogs, two out of three drivers (65%) admitted having parked on the pavement and nearly half (46%) were confused by the law on pavement parking.
Stephen is campaigning for a law to make pavement parking an offence, except on streets where local authorities agree that it is safe for pedestrians. This is already the case in London, but elsewhere across the country, councils struggle to tackle unsafe pavement parking.