MP COLUMN: Pavements are for pedestrians, not for parking

Mary Glindon, MP for North Tyneside. Picture by Richard Maude.
Mary Glindon, MP for North Tyneside. Picture by Richard Maude.

Pedestrians, cyclists and motorists should share the roads and streets without needless conflict, and the law should manage that fairly, writes North Tyneside MP Mary Glindon.

Selfish parking habits are making it much more difficult for pedestrians, particularly those who use wheelchairs and pushchairs, the elderly and those who are blind or partially-sighted.

One of the most complained about parking habits is those who use the pavement and force people to walk along the road.

This obviously increases the danger of accidents.

Some pedestrians come across such blockages and give up their journeys.

More than half of motorists admit that they park on pavements, even if some claim only briefly but that’s little consolation if it happens to be the moment the pavement is being used by someone who is less nimble than others.

It’s an unwanted barrier to the freedom and independence a guide dog brings.

I therefore back calls by the Guide Dogs charity to standardise pavement parking rules, ideally only allowing this type of parking on specially designated streets, as has been the case in London since the 1970s. Some streets are too narrow to park on the road.

Most councillors support this because varied rules and enforcement practices are needed to clarify the law.

I am also backing a private member’s bill on pavement parking set to be given its second reading just before Christmas. The bill and the campaigning work of Guide Dogs will raise awareness of the problems and dangers caused by thoughtless actions.