On Saturday 11th November, we launched our campaign against pavement and other illegal parking along Mill Road.
Called #Pavemeant4People, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the negative impacts of anti-social parking, and put pressure on the City and County Council to enforce parking regulations and prevent pavement parking.
MR4P supporters stood along the edge of the pavement to block parking in one of the worst-hit areas. They handed out leaflets explaining why pavement parking is both anti-social and in some cases illegal. The leaflets also contained a map showing all the legal parking places nearby.
‘We had a great response,’ says campaign organiser Andy Kennedy. ‘Some drivers genuinely didn’t realise they were breaking the law. This probably isn’t surprising since pavement parking is now so widespread and enforcement is practically non-existent.’
Saturday’s action drew a lot of support from passers-by and also from owners of businesses in the area.
MR4P has also launched an easy-to-use reporting page. Anyone can upload pictures of dangerously or inconsiderately parked cars to allow us to put more pressure on local authorities. We have already had replies from companies promising to do better in future.
Pavement parking blocks space intended for pedestrians and is particularly problematic for people with visual impairments or people with child buggies or in a wheelchair or mobility scooter. It also causes great damage to the pavements. Where cars straddle the kerb, they increase the need for potentially dangerous overtaking.
The law around pavement parking is rather confusing. However, unless there is a dropped kerb or marked bays, it is an offence to drive onto a pavement. Mill Road also has double yellow lines along most of its length, meaning that it is illegal to park there at all apart from for the purposes of loading and unloading, or picking up or setting down a taxi passenger.
It’s also common to see vehicles parked well within the statutory 10 metres of a junction. This is highly dangerous for pedestrians and for vehicles turning in and out of junctions.
MR4P chair Paul Lythogoe says ‘Many of us are old enough to remember a time when traffic regulations were properly enforced. Traffic wardens were always in evidence, and cyclists riding without lights could expect to be stopped and fined too. We simply don’t understand why the County Council cannot undertake this work, which would surely be self-financing.’
As well as the car parks at Queen Anne’s Terrace and Gwydir St, many of the roads off Mill Road have metred parking in the daytime and free parking in the evening. When the bus gate is installed, MR4P would like to see more short-term parking bays on the road, in order to benefit businesses and shoppers with mobility issues.