At the Town Council meeting on the 10th September, Cllr Paul Sparks presented a motion to support changed to by-laws to make parking on pavements illegal.
Earlier in the meeting local resident Susan Spicer addressed the meeting.
She told Councillors that she was a pensioner who used a mobility scooter. She explained that she had difficulty in coming into town on her scooter due to cars and lorries parked on pavements, especially in the High Street.
Ms Spicer also explained that parents also struggle sometimes having to walk into the road to pass the vehicles and at times she had also been verbally abused.
Later in the meeting it was discussed by Councillors. Cllr. P Sparks said that the public, especially wheelchair users had at times been trapped by vehicles parked on pavements as they could not go into the road due to the lack of dropped kerbs and he said Ms Spicer had at times had to return home as she was unable to proceed into town.
The members agreed that a change to the by-law would be appreciated but questioned how this would be enforced especially when current double yellow lines and waiting time restrictions were being ignored. It was also felt that a blanket restriction in the town would not be feasible as in some areas parking on pavements was the only way traffic could move freely.
It was resolved by the council to write to local MP Nus Ghani to give support for the change in by-laws to make parking on pavements against the law.
Members voting for:- Cllr.s Mayhew, Beesley, Dean, Eastwood, Smith, Love, Macve, Meakin, Sparks.
Against the motion recorded:- Cllrs. French, Manvell and Ward.
(Source minutes of town council meeting 10th September)
Reply from Department
The response from the Department of Transport as follows:
‘As you are aware, local authorities outside London already have powers to prohibit pavement parking using Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO’s). The traffic signs needed to inform drivers of such restrictions are prescribed in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 (as amended). They may also use bollards to protect pavements.
However, the Department is aware that some organisations and members of the the public argue that TRO’s are not an effective way of addressing pavement parking. Department officials were instructed to gather evidence on the issue of pavement parking and the effectiveness, or not, of the current regulatory frameworks. As part of the work, alternatives methods to tackle inappropriate pavement parking will be considered. This work is now well underway and the Department is on course to draw conclusions later this year.
The Government must consider carefully the implications of any potential changes to national legislation, and it is important that such changes are based on sound evidence’
Town Councillor ‘encouraged’
Councillor Paul Sparks, Uckfield Town Council said:
“I was encouraged by the response from Government stating that they are currently working on solutions to stop inconsiderate parking on pavements. I now look forward to learning about specific measures as promised at the end of the year which I know will be welcomed by many residents in Uckfield.”
The Town Clerk Holly Goring has confirmed that no progress has been made so far with East Sussex County Council on the lowering of the kerbs in the disabled bays.
The following item of interest from Highways Magazine relating to Pavement Parking
Advice from Sussex Police on their website here.