Council calls for more powers to tackle problem pavement parkers in Sheffield

Sheffield City Council has asked for more powers to enforce against pavement parking after campaigners warned the problem is ‘out of control’.

Sunday, 2nd June 2019, 10:32 am
Updated Sunday, 2nd June 2019, 10:32 am
The council has submitted written evidence to a government inquiry into pavement parking. (credit @parkinginSheff)

Last month, campaigners from CycleSheffield submitted written evidence to the Transport Committee, which is holding an inquiry to explore the problems of pavement parking and consider possible solutions.

The voluntary campaign organisation, which has more than 1,250 members, said in its evidence: “In Sheffield the problem seems to be out of control, we see more and more of it, receive and make more and more complaints and the authorities seem to struggle to deal with the issue.

“It negatively affects walking by causing obstructions to pavements. Often the pavements are completely obstructed.”

Sheffield City Council confirmed this week that it has also submitted written evidence to the committee, saying it wants to find a ‘flexible solution’ to tackle what it describes as ‘problematic and perilous parking’. 

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Councillor Bob Johnson, Cabinet Member for Planning and Development says he is calling on the government to ‘do more’ to help the local authority to tackle the issue. 

He said: “I’ve only been in post for a few weeks but it is clear to me that we need more powers to tackle pavement parking.

“Pavements should not be for parking and far too many people are taking shocking decisions, often where there is no need to do so. “I’ve asked officers to step up patrols and activity wherever possible but accept that they often don’t have the full set of enforcement options available to them.

“It is hard to impose a total ban on pavement parking however, because the nature of many of Sheffield’s roads means that parking partially over a kerb is often seen as unavoidable.

“But this should not be seen as an excuse across the city. I am calling for clarity and a series of standards that can be enforced and will be reviewing the council’s current parking enforcement policy.

“I am today calling on government to do more to help us tackle this problem on the streets of Sheffield.”

 

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The council says it can already enforce pavement parking where there are double or single yellow lines, or where a clearway restriction exists.

However, the local authority states that these restrictions also prevent parking on the road too, adding there are many parts of the Sheffield’s roads where installing such restrictions would generate other problems.

A council spokesman said: “For example more than a quarter of Sheffield’s housing is terraced with narrow streets and little opportunity for creating off-road parking. On these streets, some sensible pavement parking would be very welcome for residents.

“Currently, residents only have the option of contacting the police to request they deal with vehicles obstructing the foot way. Police often don’t have the resources required to prioritise these requests over serious crimes. This can lead to frustration for residents.

“A flexible solution, based on an offence of obstruction, would see pavement parking being actively managed on many of Sheffield’s narrow roads so that footways are freed up for all pedestrians.”

The council spokesman said it is taking action under the powers currently available to it.

“The parking strategy has already endorsed a city centre pavement parking ban which will be developed this year. In addition the strategy highlights a review of existing controlled parking zones, such as the schemes in Broomhill and Hillsborough, and introduction of new zones close to the city centre which will help address some of the current issues.

“In addition the strategy highlights a review of existing controlled parking zones, such as the schemes in Broomhill and Hillsborough, and introduction of new zones close to the city centre which will help address some of the current issues,” the spokesman added. 

The council says it is looking to set up its own ‘clear and transparent’ policy to support any new powers.

They hope this would provide positive guidance to all drivers on where they could safely park, but also where poor parking would see enforcement.