A call to ban cars from parking on sidewalks in England was recommended Monday by a committee of House of Commons politicians.
Parliament’s Transport Committee criticised the Department for Transport for failing to take action on pavement parking, which MPs heard has a detrimental effect on people’s lives and can lead to social isolation.
In their report the committee has called for an outright ban on pavement parking across England.
The committee has recommended that the government commit to tackling pavement parking as part of its Loneliness Strategy. It wants parliament to legislate for a nationwide ban on pavement parking across England, outside London.
The proposals have been welcomed by disability groups and organisations promoting walking.
Transport Committee chair Lilian Greenwood said: “Pavement parking has a huge impact on people’s lives and their ability to get around their communities.
“Motorists may feel they have no choice but to park on the pavement and many try to do so in a considerate way, but evidence to our inquiry revealed the impact on those with visual and mobility impairments and people with children.”
Pavement parking is already banned in London, with those who flout the rules facing a fine.
MPs heard evidence that wheelchair-users and people with disabilities struggled to get around because sidewalks are often blocked by vehicles.
Stephen Edwards from the charity Living Streets, said: “Cars parked on pavements force people with wheelchairs, parents with buggies and those living with sight loss into the carriageway and oncoming traffic.
“The committee is right to draw attention to the impact of pavement parking on loneliness. Many older adults we speak to feel stuck in their homes because they’re not able to navigate their local pavements. People continue to be put at risk of injury and isolation with every day of inaction that passes.”