The pavement parking crackdown
Last week, West Yorkshire Police confirmed drivers parked on pavements could now be fined. Though pavement parking is only illegal in London - with motorists liable to be fined £70 for committing the offence – new debates are taking place in parliament about standardising the law across the UK. While a nation-wide ban may please pedestrians, it begs the question: how will cities manage more vehicles with less parking?
Parking the problem
Parking on public pavements is still a largely accepted practice amongst motorists, but obstructions can be incredibly dangerous for wheelchair users, the visually impaired or parents with pushchairs. The lack of space on pavements could force pedestrians into the road and the path of additional dangers.
UK campaigners have been trying to get a nationwide ban for the offence for some time. There have been studies, reports, inquiries and proposed bills. The most recent was the Pavement Parking (Protection of Vulnerable Pedestrians) Bill 2015-16, which was debated in the House of Commons on 4 December 2015, but not carried forward.
In April the Scottish parliament agreed in principle to a nation-wide footway parking ban – forming part of a new bill to make Scotland’s transport network cleaner, smarter and more accessible. UK charity ‘Living Streets’ responded by saying the Scottish government “demonstrated a commitment to accessibility and to improving their streets for walking by passing this law. It would be remiss not to follow suit in England and Wales.”
A smart solution
With pressure mounting on lawmakers to roll out a nation-wide parking ban in the UK, local authorities should consider the impact this will have on their own parking infrastructures and mobility. Motoring research found one in 10 drivers park on the pavement on a daily basis – equating to around three million cars. A ban would require access to alternative parking.
Chipside’s connected parking and permitting services use Oppidatim to generate insight from big data to solve parking issues. Oppidatim helps local authorities combine large datasets - such as analysis of traffic flows and residential areas - with real-time on-street parking demand. This can enable the setting of demand-led parking tariffs and inform decisions around traffic management policies, the building of new parking facilities and the development of new resident parking schemes.
Connected permit management also allows residents and businesses to use payment systems such as MiPermit to pay for parking in advance via mobile, telephone or over the internet. Data from this system is then seamlessly supplied to enforcement teams to ensure no fines are given unless motorists are in breach. By investing in connected parking solutions now, local authorities will be best positioned to manage future changes.