Thank you to those who have contacted me about pavement parking and the Guide Dogs UK stand at Conservative Party Conference. I will be pleased to visit the Guide Dogs UK stand to learn more about their work this year, particularly in relation to the issues caused by pavement parking and street furniture.
I appreciate that vehicles parked on pavements can cause particular problems for people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments, as well as those with pushchairs.
While there is an historic ban on pavement parking throughout London, elsewhere any local authority that has taken up civil enforcement powers may introduce a ban on pavement parking where it sees fit through the use of Traffic Regulation Orders. As part of making this easier to implement, in 2011 Ministers gave all councils authorisation to use a sign indicating where a pavement parking restriction is in place, removing the need to ask Whitehall first for permission to use the sign.
Ministers have written to councils on several occasions, encouraging them to use these available powers to prevent parking on the pavement where it is a problem. The Department of Transport has also published guidance for traffic authorities, highlighting the difficulties that pavement parking causes for pedestrians and detailing ways that it can be prevented.
In addition, the Department of Transport is now undertaking a broader piece of work to gather evidence on the issue of pavement parking including how it is addressed in current regulation. The Department expects to be able to draw conclusions later this year.