St Albans residents condemn the plague of the pavement parkers
Persistent parking on pavements, with associated high levels of health and safety hazards, has come under fire from a distressed resident and a councillor.
Concern about the problem has arisen because of parking off the road and on the recently relaid paving slabs in the Fleetville area of St Albans.
The fear of scratching their vehicle has seen owners pull up on to the pavement, obstructing pedestrians and causing cracks in paving slabs.
One resident in particular knows all too well the problems reckless parking can cause. Wanda Bristow, 62, said: “Three years ago uneven paving slabs caused me to trip and awkwardly fall on my knee.
“It was when the leaves had started to fall, covering the uneven slab so I couldn’t see it.”
The fall left Wanda in hospital and she now has difficulty walking: “It has destroyed my life as I now have a real mobility issue.”
The council recently re-laid pavement around the area but Wanda fears that it will fall into disrepair again as motorists continue parking on the pavement.
She said: “What’s the point of doing the work if people are just going to do carry on doing it? I worry because I have to walk around the area to exercise my knee and I am scared I will fall again.”
County and district councillor Chris White is also concerned about the safety hazards: “There’s so much space on these roads, I think it’s amazing that they still choose to park on the pavement.
“It’s not acceptable. There’s a sense of entitlement; people think ‘I pay my taxes; I should be able to park where I want’ and that’s not the case.”
Chris thinks that there should be tighter parking restrictions: “The legislation is completely rubbish, it’s really difficult to ticket the cars doing it.
“There is lots of subsequent damage that is done to the pipework, paving and gas mains and this all incurs long term costs. I think some people are ignorant of it.”
Mike Lovelady, head of legal services at St Albans district council, said: “There is no general law outside of London preventing the parking of vehicles on the pavement.
“However, parking a vehicle on the pavement can lead to an offence of obstruction being committed. This is a matter for the police to enforce.
“If residents in this area are concerned about parking in their road, then they can request the council to look at introducing parking restrictions to prevent parking on the road at certain times of the day.”
Emails should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. A private members bill is currently going through Parliament to clarify and simplify the laws regarding pavement parking.