Under a Herald headline ‘Crackdown on pavement parking in Lancing’, a spokesperson for Lancing Parish Council said that residents will receive leaflets reminding them not to park in a way which causes obstruction on the footpath and forces pedestrians to use the road, putting them in danger.
The flyers will warn that details will be taken and recorded of any offending vehicles. A photograph, which was used to illustrate the article, showed three cars parked on a grass verge which, unfortunately, exposed a major flaw in the council’s plan to stop this form of parking.
As I live in the same road where the photo was taken I can assure the councillors that leafleting the homes in front of which these vehicles were parked will have no effect whatsoever.
And why? Because the cars in the photograph do not belong to the home owners; they are owned by people who shop and work in the locality.
Unfortunately, the current legislation around parking on the pavement is unclear. In London, it’s banned; the Highway Code states in rule 245 that ‘You must not park partially or wholly on the pavement in London and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it.’ This means that offenders in London can be given a parking ticket.
However, elsewhere the ‘should not’ doesn’t mean that it’s illegal in Lancing or anywhere else, or that motorists who do park on the pavement are necessarily committing a punishable offence.
So, is there anything that Lancing Parish Council can do to stop pavement and grass verge parking, other than spend time and money pushing out leaflets that will have little effect?
Well, it could put pressure on West Sussex County Council to follow the examples of Exeter and Worcester and get this type of parking banned through private Acts of Parliament.
I am afraid that, until and unless some form of action along those lines is taken, Lancing will continue to see its pavements obstructed and its grass verges ruined.
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