Pavement parking: Expert opinion could help Councils

Parking has become a significant issue for many councils across the country. The increase in the number of cars per household, along with constraints on developing land for parking purposes, and the increase in commuters parking near stations with access to large cities has meant that many need the advice of a professional parking expert who can survey and report on the thoughts and concerns of everyone involved.

Parking case study: Manchester

A Bill currently working its way through Parliament is designed to prevent drivers from parking on pavements. In large cities like Manchester where space is at a premium, pavement parking can certainly be a problem – but if it is banned, where will drivers park instead? Council parking policy is usually to ensure that sufficient parking is available for all, that residents’ right to park near their homes is protected, and that parking is not allowed where it will be dangerous or cause congestion for other road users.

In an urban setting, parking on pavements happens in a number of places:

Residential areas where no off-street parking is available
Roads near to rail stations, tram stations or other public transport links
Town centres where parking charges may be high and provision of free parking is low
Industrial estates where parking spaces are insufficient for the number of workers

Pavement parking causes a range of difficulties, particularly for those who need to use the full width of the pavement safely, including those with disabilities, those with guide dogs, parents with pushchairs and more. Reports from Manchester suggest that poor parking often pushes pedestrians on to the road, with all the dangers that entails.

How can things improve?

Parking on pavements has been banned in London for several decades, and councils use a variety of tactics, including numberplate recognition to identify and fine anyone breaking the law. Should the ban extend to other towns and cities, it may provoke a council parking policy review, to determine the impact of a pavement ban, and how to accommodate those road users elsewhere.

Parking surveys from RDS

At Road Data Services, we have the expertise and understanding to conduct full parking surveys to help you understand the habits of drivers in your area, the potential problems parking can cause and to supply the data to help you plan for the future.

Our surveys can be designed and run as stand-alone projects, or in conjunction with our other services such as journey time or traffic count surveys – giving you a complete picture of the road use in your area.

To find out more, please contact us today.

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