Breaking the Barriers – Support for Welsh Government’s call to end pavement parking

Motorists who park on pavements with no consideration for the safety of pedestrians or cyclists could soon face action as the Welsh Government announce plans for an expert group to look at ways of clamping down on illegal parking across Wales.

This follows the recent announcement of the Welsh Government’s to change the default speed limit for residential areas across Wales from 30mph to 20mph. Together with proposals to end pavement parking, the aim is to make our streets, pedestrian areas and pavements safer for all users. It also follows campaigns by Living Streets, the Guide Dogs Association and others which have led to thousands of people calling on the National Assembly for Wales to end pavement parking.

Ogmore Assembly Member Huw Irranca-Davies who is also Chair of the National Assembly Cross-Party Group on ‘Active Travel’ welcomed the news saying:  “In recent years a culture of routinely parking on pavements in some streets and even whole towns has developed. This has become a clear danger to mums and dads with pushchairs and prams, people who use mobility scooters, those with impaired vision and all pedestrians. People are being forced off the pavement into the road by inconsiderate pavement-parking. This is downright dangerous and could lead to injuries and fatalities.”

Simon Green, Chair of the Bridgend Coalition of Disabled People, a prominent campaigner who regularly meets with his Assembly Member Huw Irranca-Davies to discuss accessibility issues. Mr Green also welcomed the news saying “Pavement parking is dangerous as it can obstruct the footway and force pedestrians into the path of oncoming traffic. This is particularly dangerous for people with sight loss who are unable to see moving vehicles but also those with reduced mobility, wheelchair or mobility scooter users and parents with young children or buggies.”

He added:  “I have lost count how many times I have had to go into the road because people have parked on pavements or over dropped curbs and long to see day where this is made illegal, like it is in London. Sadly most don’t see how frustrating and dangerous it is until they themselves are in situation where they can’t get past or have to go in road.”

Welsh Government Minister Lee Waters said: “Our goal is for people of all ages and abilities to be confident that they can make every day journeys by walking and cycling, and do so safely. But there are barriers in our villages, towns and cities to allow this to easily happen and this is something we must look at ways of addressing – not least as part of our wider response to the climate emergency, the air quality crisis and the obesity epidemic.”

Welsh Government has established an expert group which will explore options for ending pavement parking, to report back to the Assembly in the near future.

Welsh Government has established an expert group which will explore options for ending pavement parking, to report back to the Assembly in the near future.

Pictures from past campaigns on pavement parking and Huw meeting with disability groups.

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