'Carte blanche' pavement parking ban 'would not work' in Northumberland, believes council boss

A council boss has expressed doubts about the merits of a pavement parking ban in Northumberland.

Thursday, 2nd April 2020, 4:45 pm

Paul Jones, director of local services at Northumberland County Council, was speaking after the Government set out plans to consult on the proposal.

“We need to see the details,” he told a meeting of Alnwick Town Council. “Generally, the difficulty we would have is enforcement arrangements. If it’s obstruction it’s a police matter.”

He also expressed concerns about how Northumberland’s road network would cope with such a ban.

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Wagonway Road in Alnwick.

“We’ve got far too many cars for the types of estates and developments we’ve got,” he said. “If people don’t park up on a pavement there’s nowhere else for them to go and a lot of the time they would end up obstructing the road and you wouldn’t have a free flow of traffic.

“As a practical proposition for a county like Northumberland you couldn’t look at a carte blanche approach like that. It just would not work. I think it’s a bit of a nonsense, quite frankly.

“We have already got double yellow lines and single yellow lines where there are issues with people parking. We can enforce against those anyway with the powers we’ve got so we don’t really see it as being a high priority.”

The proposal is aimed at improving the lives of people with mobility or sight impairments, as well as parents with prams who may be forced into the road to get around parked cars.

The consultation will include options such as allowing local authorities with civil parking enforcement powers to crack down on unnecessary obstruction of the pavement. Currently, outside London, only police have this power.

It will also consider how a nationwide ban on pavement parking enforced by local authorities might work, allowing for any necessary exceptions or designated spots for pavement parking where needed, and how a tailored approach may be required in rural and suburban areas which face different challenges.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Vehicles parked on the pavement can cause very real difficulties for many pedestrians.

“That’s why I am taking action to make pavements safer and I will be launching a consultation to find a long-term solution for this complex issue.”