Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon is asking the public and key stakeholders for their views on how we could address inconsiderate pavement (footway) parking.
The Department has published an options paper and online questionnaire to help establish future policy for addressing pavement parking. This 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.
Minister Mallon 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.”
Continuing the Minister said:
“There is currently no single piece of legislation that prohibits all vehicles from inconsiderate and obstructive parking. I am therefore seeking the views of the public and other stakeholders on a number of possible options to help alleviate the difficulties caused by pavement parking.
“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 is available online via: https://www.infrastructure-ni.gov.uk/consultations/inconsiderate-pavement-parking-options-paper and the online questionnaire is available via the NIDirect Citizen Space consultation portal: https://consultations2.nidirect.gov.uk/dfi-1/pavement-parking-consultation. Paper copies and fully accessible versions can be obtained by contacting the Department.
The questionnaire will be available on-line until 18 March 2022.
Notes to editors:
- Although the term ‘footway’ is used in legislation, the more commonly used term ‘pavement’ is also used in this document to describe the part of a road which is located alongside the carriageway (road) on which there is a public right of way on foot. This is distinct from a ‘footpath’ which is remote from a road.
- Rule 244 in the Highway Code NI states: “DO NOT park partially or wholly on the footway or footpath unless signs permit it. Parking on the footway or footpath can obstruct and seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and people with prams or pushchairs.” The Department’s road safety and sustainable travel social media channels regularly post reminders about this rule.
- The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has powers to enforce against a vehicle found to be causing a general obstruction under Regulation 119 of the Motor Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999 or found obstructing the access to premises under Article 5c of the Roads (Restriction of Waiting) Order (Northern Ireland) 1982.
- With the exception of heavy commercial vehicles (Article 30 of the Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1995), there is no single piece of legislation that prohibits all vehicles from parking on footways; however, where there are parking restrictions, these apply to both the carriageway and footway, and consequently the Department can carry out enforcement action against vehicles parked in contravention.
- The Department has powers to introduce footway parking bans. There are a number of locations where the Department has prohibited footway or verge parking in response to local problems associated with vehicles either being parked on the footway, or damaging the verge.
- There is also a blanket order which prohibits parking in the following areas for traffic management and road safety reasons:
- on a footway adjacent to clearway;
- on a footway adjacent to a controlled area at Zebra, Pelican and Puffin crossings;
- on a central reservation adjacent to a clearway;
- on a cycle track adjacent to a clearway; or
- on a verge adjacent to a controlled area at Zebra, Pelican and Puffin crossings
- The options papers provides some background to the issue and lists three possible options. The three options are as follows:
- Option 1 - introduce individual bans using the Department’s existing powers.
- Option 2 – introduce an outright ban on pavement parking, possibly with some exceptions.
- Option 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 Department is also seeking views on dealing with vehicles parked across dropped kerbs.
- All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
- Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra and on Facebook @DepartmentforInfrastructure.
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