Ramblers backs call for Government action on parking on pavements and in cycle lanes

Red car parked on the pavement leaving a small gap between the car and a wall.  

The Transport Select Committee has published its report on pavement parking calling on the Government to stop stalling and introduce a ban.

The Ramblers is backing the call as part of the Walking and Cycling Alliance (WACA), a coalition of leading active travel organisations. WACA’s ‘Moving the Nation’ manifesto outlines five changes the Government needs to bring about to make roads safer for walking and cycling, including prohibiting pavement parking.

Parking on pavements is currently covered by criminal and civil law, with different rules in different parts of the country. Research from Guide Dogs found that just 5 per cent of drivers know all aspects of current law on pavement parking.

The Government recently changed the rules on parking on cycle lanes so that it is no longer an offence to park on those marked with solid white lines during their hours of operation. WACA also calls for this change to be reversed, to avoid undermining cycle safety.

On behalf of the Walking and Cycling Alliance, Joe Irvin, Chief Executive, Living Streets said:

“The Government needs to act urgently on the findings of the Transport Select Committee report, which is founded on thorough investigation and input from the general public.

“Cars parked on pavements force people with wheelchairs, parents with buggies and those living with sight loss into the carriageway and oncoming traffic.

“We need safe streets which encourage people to choose healthier and cleaner ways to travel if we’re to tackle some of our biggest public health crises, including illegal levels of air pollution, social isolation and inactivity.

“Pavements also aren’t designed to carry the weight of vehicles, which causes them to become cracked and damaged. The cost of repairing pavements and paying out compensation claims is falling on cash-strapped councils. 

“The laws around pavement parking are confusing and vary across the country. Clear pavements need clear laws. There should be a default ban, with the ability to allow pavement parking in certain circumstances, as is currently available in London. This would be simple and easy for everyone to understand. 

“The Government should also move quickly to reform the Traffic Regulation Order process and raise awareness amongst drivers of the dangers of pavement parking. People continue to be put at risk of injury and isolation with every day of inaction that passes.

“The Government recently changed the rules on parking on cycle lanes so that it is no longer an offence to park on those marked with solid white lines during their hours of operation. This change - made without notifying councils or the public - needs to be reversed. Until it is, it runs the risk of undermining the review into the Highway Code to improve cycle safety.”

The Walking and Cycling Alliance is a coalition of the UK’s leading walking and cycling organisations of the Bicycle Association, Cycling UK, the Ramblers, British Cycling, Living Streets and Sustrans.

Find out more about our Charter for Walking Neighbourhoods, which sets out more steps councils can take to make their neighbourhoods safe and welcoming for pedestrians.


Jonathan Ankers

A pavement parking ban is completely impractical, for example in areas of terraced houses with no off-road parking.

Roy Broadhead

I urge you to photograph offending vehicles, including the registration, and send the images to the responsible local authority. Huge 4 x 4 cars and vans are wrecking our pavements and verges and the cost of repair falls on councils whose budgets have already been dramatically reduced. A few bills for reinstatement sent to delivery firms might cause them to think again.