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Dangerous pavement parking to be banned in Sheffield city centre

Campaigners have welcomed moves to make roads like Arundel Gate and West Street safer for pedestrians and wheelchair users.

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Benjamin Elliott on Unsplash.

A newly-submitted Traffic Regulation Order will cover the entire area within the inner ring-road, with the aim of tackling inconsiderate and dangerous parking.

Drivers who break the rules and obstruct the pavement will face fines of £70, reduced to £35 if paid within two weeks.

"We know that pavement parking is a real problem in the city centre... people using wheelchairs and prams are often most affected," said Douglas Johnson, Executive Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport.

"This proposed ban will help to make sure that people can get where they want to go safely and easily. We need to make sure that our city centre is inclusive and accessible for everyone who visits, and we’re taking this step to stop people parking selfishly and hindering others."

The ban will be enforced across the city centre in stages, and will be monitored by the council's parking enforcement officers. The police will also still have the power to fine drivers for obstructing pavements.

"When people park on pavements, this limits access for many other people," said Now Then's disability community correspondent Philippa Willitts.

"Wheelchair users and people pushing prams and buggies can find themselves forced into the road, and visually impaired people may struggle to walk safely when vehicles are in the way. Making cars in the city centre park on the road and leave the pavements to pedestrians should benefit a lot of Sheffielders."

Pavement parking has been banned in London since 1974. Campaign groups including Living Streets have called for this to be extended to the rest of the country.

Their research suggests that almost half (46%) of drivers are confused by current laws on pavement parking, which differ across the country, while only 5% understand all aspects of the rules.

In 2019 the Scottish Government passed a law to outlaw pavement parking by 2023. 50% of older people across the UK say they would walk more if the pavements were free of vehicles.

"We receive a high number of complaints about pavement parking and I’m pleased that we’re now able to take this action which will hopefully act as a deterrent to those who choose to break the rules," said Cllr Johnson.

"There are plenty of on-street and off-street car parks in the city centre that are available to use, and I want it to be clear that parking on the pavement is not an option.”

The draft Traffic Regulation Order is out for consultation until 6 January.

by Sam Gregory (he/him)

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