If you often park on the kerb, you could be in trouble soon.
Ministers are considering handing a £70 fine to drivers across the UK who park on the pavement in an effort to make streets safer for pedestrians, and to encourage more people to walk.
In London, the ban on kerb parking has been a thing for a while, but it’s now being considered to extend that ban across the whole of the UK.
And the only way around it is if you have special permission by a local authority. In London, the exceptions to the rule are marked by blue parking signs or white bay lines, and that may be the case everywhere else soon.
The Times reports the Department for Transport’s cycling and walking investment strategy claims the department will address ‘pavement parking outside London’ this year, and examine an ‘alternative parking regime’.
If the plans go through, though, many people are worried that the new powers will be abused by local councils. The worry is that local authorities will use the ban to generate more revenue for themselves by failing to provide alternative parking measures elsewhere – or if they do, they won’t provide any that are free.
The AA has also expressed concerns that a ban on pavement parking could just create more problems for drivers.
Luke Bosdet, a spokesperson for the AA, told The Independent:
When you look at what has been happening over the last five to 10 years, where people haven’t been able to afford housing and have been living with their parents or rented houses with three or four working people living at the same address, it means there are more cars parked outside.
So if you’re going to look at a blanket ban on pavement parking, you’ve got to sort out your housing crisis.
He makes a pretty good point.
The plans are still only being considered, though.
Speaking to The Independent, a Department of Transport spokesperson said: “We are currently considering the rules around pavement parking, including whether more can be done to make it easier for councils to tackle problem areas in a consistent way. Work is ongoing and no decisions have been made.”
Considering it looks like pretty much half the country parks on the kerb, it’s pretty safe to say most of us will be fined if the ban is implemented. So let’s hope it either doesn’t go through, or if it does, it’s very well thought out and executed with lots of free parking elsewhere.