By Stuart Minting in The Press.
FRESH laws are needed to tackle the problem of motorists parking on pavements – according to a council meeting.
North Yorkshire County councillors were told residents including children, wheelchair users and pedestrians face significant issues created by inconsiderately parked cars.
And that the problem was present in almost every parish across the county.
A meeting of the authority’s transport and environment scrutiny committee heard an elderly resident call on the council to “reclaim all the land grabbed throughout North Yorkshire” by cars parked on pavements as his disabled wife could not safely negotiate most streets.
Councillors were told that enforcement was patchy – and that many motorists were aware parking enforcement dropped off after 5pm meaning some streets would become bottlenecks.
They voiced frustration after being told that it was an offence to drive on the pavement, even for a short distance, but that no one was prosecuted for this despite it being clear that the law had been broken.
The authority’s environment corporate director David Bowe said the offence had to be witnessed by a police officer in order to prosecute.
He said: “The fact that a vehicle fully blocks a footway doesn’t mean an offence is actually committed.
“An offence is only committed if a pushchair appears and attempts to get past. That’s how extreme it is.
“There is a clear and obvious change in legislation that would allow enforcement which would be that it becomes an offence in its own right.”
Councillors suggested residents fight back – by passing dashcam evidence of road offences to police and filming pushchairs or wheelchairs being unable to pass a car parked on a pavement.
Parking on pavements has been illegal in London since 1974 – with motorists given a £70 fine. The government began examining the problems the practice causes earlier this year, meaning the penalties could be extended to the rest of England.