MPs call for ban on pavement parking
The Commons' Transport Committee has published a new report calling for a complete ban on motorists parking their cars on pavements in England.
Its document branded the practice 'anti-social behaviour' and said it puts vulnerable pedestrians at unnecessary risk, as well as making people feel as though they cannot leave their homes safely.
MPs in the committee have demanded a new law that would see drivers fined £70 if they mount the kerb to park their vehicles, together with an awareness campaign to ensure people recognise the impact of their behaviour.
The Scottish Parliament is currently also considering a ban on cars parking on pavements, while the Welsh government is carrying out a review into the phenomenon.
Parking on footpaths has been banned in London since the 1970s under Highway Code rule 244, but it is not illegal elsewhere in the country.
In other locations, the code simply states that drivers "should not" do it, meaning it is not backed up by any particular legislation.
However, if a car is reported by other road users or seen by a police officer in a dangerous position or causing an obstruction of the road, motorists can still be issued a Fixed Penalty Notice.
It is possible that the Commons' Transport Committee will now seek improvements to Traffic Regulation Orders to enforce a ban and create a new civil offence for pavement parking.
"While pavement parking can be a necessity in some areas, it should not be allowed to happen where it has a significant adverse impact on people's lives," the report concluded.
The news has predictably caused much debate on social media and around water coolers everywhere. Some Britons will no doubt be in full support of a ban, particularly those who have ever had to attempt navigating a pram around a car that completely blocks a footpath.
However, others have also been pointing out that many roads are so narrow and so clogged up with vehicles that not parking on the pavement would cause an obstruction, especially to emergency services and refuse collectors.
Perhaps the government may need to address increased provision of parking before it brings in a ban.