The recent Facebook post about pavement parking in Caerleon inevitably received a lot of comments. The historic centre of Caerleon was not built for cars and understandably there is a variety of opinion. But there are surely some practices that are not acceptable.
It is not acceptable for people to park fully blocking the pavement so that pedestrians, people with baby buggies, people on disability scooters and people in wheelchairs cannot pass and are forced onto the road. It is also not acceptable that people park across dropped kerbs, making it impossible for people on disability scooters or in wheelchairs to pass. Surely we can all agree on these?
Council traffic wardens (Civil Enforcement Officers to give them their official name) can issue notices for parking across a dropped kerb, but not for pavement parking. The law on pavement parking is not very clear. There is not a specific law against pavement parking. The Welsh government plans to give powers to local authorities to take action, but this is waiting on some necessary changes in UK law. It is planned to give local authorities in Wales the power to take action by the end of this year.
The police can take action against pavement parking under obstruction laws, but there is frustration when the police do not immediately respond. Police numbers have been cut across the UK by 20,000 since 2010. There are efforts to get numbers back up, but the police have been forced to prioritise. Police resources are often directed to where there the number of incidents is the highest. It is important, therefore, that where the pavement is made impassable people report incidents by telephoning 101 or with a photo via Facebook messenger. If local councillors are also informed, we can also chase up the issue with local officers.