Merseyside / national road safety failures
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Why the Living Streets / Guide Dogs pavement parking campaign is inept and dangerous
The Living Streets / Guide Dogs campaignThe two charities Living Streets and Guide Dogs have been running a campaign for several years "to ban pavement parking". The implication is that pavement parking is currently legal. They have sections on their websites and have recently handed in a petition to 10 Downing St.
There are two major problems with their campaign:
Pavement parking is already illegalIt is an offence to drive on to a pavement and it is an offence to obstruct other road users including pedestrians. These offences make pavement parking illegal.
There is nothing secret or archaic about these offences, for example, they are included in a summary of the law on the Merseyside Police website: https://www.merseyside.police.uk/advice-and-protection/policing-the-roads/pavement-parking/, and many police forces are issuing tickets for parking on pavements, for example Cheshire, Hertfordshire, Manchester, Merseyside and West Midlands police - see https://www.wacm.org.uk/101.html
It is bizarre that police forces have education and enforcement campaigns, but Living Streets and Guide Dogs never include information about these on their websites, or in their campaign emails, or in their press releases or in their Tweets - and this has continued even after requests from grass roots campaigning groups. It looks as if there is deliberate misinformation.
Implying that pavement parking is currently legal increases the risks to pedestrians
What alternative campaign is neededInstead of the Living Streets / Guide Dogs campaign pedestrians need
A change in the law so that local authorities can also enforce the current ban on pavement parking would be helpful (this would be the same as the law in London) - but the main priority is to emphasise that pavement parking is currently illegal.
What alternative campaigning groups are neededPedestrians need a strong independent voice to stand up to local and national governments and police forces when necessary.
From 1929, there was a national independent Pedestrians Association, but this was converted into the charity Living Streets in 2001 - and this now receives most of its funding from the Department for Transport and other branches of national and local government, and so it has a conflict of interest.
Living Streets has let down pedestrians badly with its poor campaigning.
It is time for people who care about pedestrian safety to link up in a powerful independent grassroots movement that will really stand up for pedestrians.
Last updated: 4 Nov 2018