English local authorities will be able to tackle inconsiderate and dangerous parking more easily, Transport Minister Paul Clark confirmed today.
From June, councils which carry out parking enforcement will be able to issue Penalty Charge Notices to motorists who park at dropped kerbs or double-park, without the need for these prohibitions to be indicated with specific traffic signs or road markings. This follows consultation which showed strong support for the move.
Authorities in London have successfully used this tool for a number of years to help wheelchair users and those with prams manoeuvre on and off pavements - as well as stopping inconsiderate motorists from blocking residents' driveways. It has also helped deter motorists from blocking the road when parking.
Transport Minister Paul Clark said:
"Dropped kerbs are there to help wheelchair users and those with powered mobility vehicles or prams get around easily and safely. They also allow residents to access their garages and driveways.
"The Highway Code is clear that drivers should not stop or park in such places and we believe placing of traffic signs or road markings to indicate these restrictions should not be necessary - as is the case in London. The same rules will apply to double parking - a dangerous activity that causes an unnecessary obstruction of the road, putting all road users at risk.
"While we believe signs and markings are not necessary in these circumstances, we expect local authorities who want to use these powers to do so in a fair and transparent manner and publicise their plans to do so. All other restrictions will continue to require clear signs and markings."
Chair of the Joint Committee on Mobility for Disabled People Joe Hennessy said:
"Inconsiderate parking at dropped kerbs is a substantial barrier to the mobility of disabled people particularly at crossing points. The committee wholeheartedly support these new regulations."
Today's move will improve national consistency by bringing the rest of England in line with authorities in London where dropped kerb and double parking restrictions do not have to be indicated with signs or markings. It will also help reduce street clutter by limiting the number of signs at the roadside.
The Driving Intructor Magazine, 5th May 2009