AN INITIATIVE has been launched by Seaford MP Norman Baker to encourage local councils to tackle pavement parking.
Transport Minister Mr Baker wants a clear message to be sent out that ‘pavements are for pedestrians, not cars’.
Vehicles parked on pavements have led to complaints. The MP said the cars can cause particular problems for people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and those with pushchairs.
He added that this can lead to cracked pavements, with the tab for fixing them ultimately having to be picked up by the taxpayer.
Mr Baker has written to councils, including East Sussex County Council, prompting them to take action.
Along with the letter, the Transport Minister has given all councils in England permission to use signs to indicate a local pavement parking ban.
Until now, councils have had to get special signs authorisation from the government each time they want to put a pavement parking ban in place.
Mr Baker said, “We have seen this problem locally, not least on the High Street in Lewes.
“It is simply intolerable to have a mother with a pushchair or a person in a wheelchair to be forced out into the road, putting them at risk, to get by a vehicle that has been selfishly parked and blocked the pavement.
“There is no doubt that the majority of drivers park their cars responsibly, but for those who do not, I hope that the government reducing the bureaucracy involved in banning pavement parking will make it easier for councils to tackle this problem.
“I would certainly urge that local councils, including of course East Sussex County Council, utilise this opportunity to crack down on pavement parking.”
A spokesman for East Sussex County Council said, “We are currently carrying out a comprehensive review of parking in Lewes and this will include looking at parking on pavements which we know is an issue in some parts of the town.
“The recent announcement of a set of standard signs which can be used without needing to get special permission each time is welcomed although any more signs add to street clutter and that can, itself be a problem.”