Motorists face being banned from parking on pavements under new plans to de-clutter residential streets and encourage more people to walk, The Times has learnt.
Ministers are considering extending an all-out ban on pavement parking which has been in place in London for 40 years to the rest of England.
The move would make it illegal to park on the kerb unless local councils expressly grant motorists permission to do so, potentially landing offenders with fines of up to £70.
Ministers also confirmed plans to scrap pelican crossings in favour of “puffin crossings” that hold traffic for longer and rely on a green man crossing signal at head height as well as at the other side of the road.
Road safety campaigners and disability groups welcomed the proposed ban on pavement parking.
The Times, 16 April 2016, Graeme Paton, Transport Correspondent
However, motoring organisations claimed that the new powers could be abused by councils in order to raise revenue, warning that many already failed to provide sufficient street parking.
Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “The concern would be that local authorities will be able to ban pavement without looking at the consequences or studying the alternatives. Getting rid of pavement parking is fine but only if you then remove some redundant double-yellow lines to create space elsewhere.” Pavement parking has been banned in London since 1974. Councils are required to seek exemptions to the rule, with motorists often warned of changes through special blue parking signs and white bay lines.
Outside the capital, parking on pavements is generally allowed except where vehicles are causing an obstruction or on roads with other restrictions such as double-yellow lines. Councils usually have to resort to a bureaucratic “traffic regulation order” to impose an all-out ban in a local area.
The Department for Transport has now confirmed that it is considering overhauling the rules to bring the rest of the country in line with the capital. Its recent cycling and walking investment strategy outlined a commitment to “examining pavement parking outside London” this year.
This included investigating the “legal and financial implications of an alternative pavement parking regime and the likely impacts on local authorities”.
Councils outside London would be able to levy parking penalties of up to £70 for offenders.
A spokesman for the department said: “We are currently considering the rules around pavement parking, including whether more can be done to make it easier for councils to tackle problem areas in a consistent way. Work is ongoing and no decisions have been made.”