Pavement Parking FAQs

Why are you campaigning on Pavement Parking?

Pavement parked cars are a potentially dangerous street obstruction which can force pedestrians to walk along the road to bypass vehicles. This is especially problematic for pedestrians who are blind or partially sighted who may not see oncoming traffic as well as wheelchair users, parents with pushchairs and the elderly to name but a few.



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Is this such a big problem?

In our Streets Ahead Survey in 2013 pavement parking was revealed as the most frequently encountered item of street clutter with nine out of ten respondents saying they encountered it. Furthermore, the YouGov Parking Attitudes survey from January 2013 shows that over half of motorists admit to parking on the pavement. Supporters have sent in more than 1100 photos of pavement parking for our online map since April 2015. The map shows this is a UK-wide problem www.guidedogs.org.uk/supportus/campaigns/streets-ahead/pavement-parking/where-is-pavement-parking-happening



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What are you asking for?

We are calling for UK wide laws that standardise pavement parking rules, ideally only allowing this type of parking on specially designated streets, such as has been the case in London since the 1970s. You can add your support to the campaign by taking our latest online action http://www.guidedogs.org.uk/supportus/campaigns/streets-ahead/pavement-parking/how-can-i-help-the-pavement-parking-campaign In Scotland we are supporting the passage of Responsible Parking legislation that would tackle pavement parking. In Northern Ireland we are encouraging politicians to introduce a Pavement Parking Bill for Northern Ireland.



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Why can’t councils or the police do this already?

A survey by consultants GUIDE in March 2014 revealed nearly eight out of ten local councillors would support standardised, UK wide laws on pavement parking. At present the situation is confusing due to differences in enforcement and rules between local areas, a standardised law would clarify the situation not just for motorists but for those seeking to enforce the law too.



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What about streets that are too narrow for cars to park on the road?

Our calls would include the provision of pavement parking in streets where the road is too narrow to park on the road as we recognise some streets were not designed for the number of cars owned by people today.



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Who else is campaigning on this?

You can read a list of supportive organisations on our website here.



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What is happening with this campaign at the moment?

This year, Simon Hoare MP chose pavement parking as the subject of his Private Member’s Bill. On 4 December, his Pavement Parking Bill was debated in Parliament. During the debate, the Government said that they don’t have enough evidence yet on the costs and benefits of introducing a law in England and Wales. In response to pressure from campaigners, organisations and MPs from across the country, the Government will now conduct research into this to see if they can support this change in law. To allow time for this research to happen Simon Hoare MP withdrew the Pavement Parking Bill.

Guide Dogs is continuing to work on the vital issue – the Government has invited us to be part of initial discussions on the scope of the research and we will be asking for the impact of pavement parking on blind and partially sighted people to be a key consideration in the research. These discussions will be taking place between January and March 2016, with the research planned to commence shortly after.



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What have you been doing on this campaign?

You can read about the history of this campaign on our website here.



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What can I do to help?

Take our latest online action through our website here.



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How can I find out more about this campaign?

For further information please email campaigns@guidedogs.org.uk



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Isn't pavement parking already illegal?

Pavement Parking was banned in London in 1974 but it still has not been outlawed in the rest of the country. You can be penalised for causing an obstruction on the pavement but in our experience this is rarely enforced for vehicles. We strongly believe that a new law would shine a spotlight on the issue and lead to fewer instances of pavement parking.



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Why do you block out number plates on your pavement parking map?

The pavement parking map has been created to highlight the scale of the problem across the UK, not to name and shame individual drivers. It has already been used to successfully raise awareness of this prolific problem amongst the public and politicians. You can view the map online http://www.guidedogs.org.uk/supportus/campaigns/streets-ahead/pavement-parking/where-is-pavement-parking-happening



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What happened to the Pavement Parking Bill introduced in 2014?

Unfortunately time ran out for Martin Horwood MP's Pavement Parking Bill. It is great news that the issue has once again been raised by another MP as the subject of their Private Member's Bill as it gives another opportunity for this bill to be progressed through Parliament. You can support the new Pavement Parking Bill by taking our latest online action http://www.guidedogs.org.uk/supportus/campaigns/streets-ahead/pavement-parking/how-can-i-help-the-pavement-parking-campaign



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Guide dog and owner walking into the road around a pavement parked car

"When I leave the house for work I have to walk beside a busy road to get to the bus stop and every day there is at least one vehicle parked on the pavement stopping me and my guide dog getting past and therefore we have to risk our lives going into the busy main road just to get round.”

Lena, Guide dog owner