Pavement parking image

Infrastructure Minister for Northern Ireland Nichola Mallon is asking the public and key stakeholders for their views on how the country can address inconsiderate pavement parking.

Pavement parking can cause issues for people who use mobility scooters or powerchairs, as well as people with vision impairments, as it can obstruct their driving and force them to go out onto the road in potentially dangerous situations, such as onto busy roads or in between cars where there are ‘blind spots’.

The Department for Infrastructure has now published an options paper and online questionnaire to help establish future policy for addressing pavement parking.

Potential solutions proposed by the department include an outright ban on pavement parking and enforcing against vehicles that park on pavements that cause obstructions.

The consultation follows on from the recently launched ‘Think Before You Park’ public information campaign, alerting drivers to the consequences of pavement parking and the impact it has on other road and pavement users.

Nichola said: “I am committed to improving road safety and addressing inconsiderate pavement parking has a key role to play in this.  Parking on pavements puts everyone using the pavements at risk. Drivers often mistakenly think they are doing the right thing by keeping the road clear but fail to realise the consequences as their vehicle blocks the footway for people.

“In November I launched my ‘Think Before You Park’ campaign to raise awareness of this important issue, and how inconsiderate parking on the pavement can endanger all road users by forcing those using the footways onto the road. This is a particular risk for people with disabilities, older people, children and people pushing prams.

“The campaign encouraged drivers to be mindful of the consequences of parking your vehicle on a pavement and to think about the needs of others.”

The minister emphasised that, currently, there is no legislation stopping vehicles from inconsiderate and obstructive parking. She is now calling on the public to share their views on a number of possible options to help combat pavement parking.

Infrastructure Minister for Northern Ireland Nichola Mallon image
Infrastructure Minister for Northern Ireland Nichola Mallon

Nichola continued: “The options being considered include: introducing individual bans using existing powers; outright bans on pavement parking; and the introduction of powers that would allow Traffic Attendants to enforce against vehicles found to be parked on the pavement and causing an obstruction.

“We are also seeking views on dealing with vehicles parked across dropped kerbs which have been lowered specifically to help people cross the road.

“I would encourage people to respond by 5pm on 18 March 2022.  Your views will be valuable in helping us to shape policy on this important issue going forward.”

The options paper – which can be accessed here – provides some background to the issue and lists three possible solutions.

These options are:

  1. Introduce individual bans using the department’s existing powers.
  2. Introduce an outright ban on pavement parking, possibly with some exceptions.
  3. Introduce powers that would allow the department’s Traffic Attendants to enforce against vehicles found to be parked on the pavement and causing an obstruction.

The questionnaire seeks views on the options presented, while also inviting other possible suggestions for dealing with the issue.

The questionnaire about banning pavement parking will be available online until 18 March 2022. To submit views to the consultation, click here

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