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Pavement parkers face prosecution

 
Created on 14/10/2020 @ 07:20
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Motorists parking on pavements in Newtown face prosecution under new powers likely to be handed to Powys County Council.

The Welsh Government is likely to pass a law that makes it an offence to park on pavements in Wales.

A recent survey showed that 83% of respondents said the issue was a problem for them.

The Welsh Government has said they want to create an environment that is "pedestrian-friendly and puts people before cars".

Ministers are backing the recommendations of an independent expert group to give councils additional civil enforcement powers to fine problem parkers.  

“The current law is not as clear as it could be", said Deputy Transport Minister, Lee Waters MS, who set up the taskforce.

“There is no specific offence of parking on pavements, and though the Police can enforce the existing criminal offence of causing ‘unnecessary obstruction of any part of the highway’, it is rarely enforced,” he added.

The Welsh Pavement Parking Taskforce rejected the outright ban being pursued in Scotland, which is set to take five years to implement, as overly slow and complex. Instead it has set out a plan to equip local authorities to act from July 2022. The UK Government has only recently begun to consult on a way to tackle the problem in England.

“We want more people to walk for short journeys and yet we tolerate an environment that is often not pedestrian friendly; too many routes are cluttered or blocked,” Mr Waters said.

“We recognise that in some streets there are too many cars for the space available and we don’t want to penalise people who have no alternative. This approach lets Councils target hot spots and vary its approach depending on local circumstances.”

All 10 recommendations of the Welsh Pavement Parking Taskforce are being accepted by the Welsh Government.

The independent panel was set up last summer under the leadership of respected transport engineer Phil Jones, who in parallel also chaired the taskforce on 20mph local speed limits. In July, the Senedd backed proposals for a 20mph default speed limit in residential areas, which the Welsh Government intends to be in force by April 2023.
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