How local councils can stop pavement parking with security bollards

Pavement parking is a problem for councils across the UK. Pavement parked cars can be dangerous; forcing pedestrians into the road to face oncoming traffic. This is a particular difficulty for vulnerable people, such as the elderly, those with vision or mobility issues, or families with pushchairs. And of course, people are at risk of social isolation if they are physically prevented from safely leaving their homes.

What’s more, payment parking can cause damage to our walkways, making them even more hazardous. And that’s before we consider that any damage can be costly to repair; something that has become a big challenge when budgets are tighter than ever.

“The extent and impacts of pavement parking affect many communities. People with mobility difficulties or visual impairments and people who care for others are particular groups who are adversely affected by pavement parking. Action from the Government to tackle the problem of pavement parking has been slow and has not improved people’s day-to-day lives”.

House of Commons Transport Committee Report, September 2019

What powers do local authorities have when it comes to pavement parking?

Despite the impact this behaviour has on councils, enforcement powers are limited. A ban on pavement parking was introduced in London in 1974. And, as of 2021, drivers in Scotland will no longer be able to park on the pavement. However, for most authorities in England and Wales, there is little action available to them and enforcement is a matter for the police.

Given current levels of car ownership and a lack of adequate car parking infrastructure, pavement parking has become inescapable in some areas, and there are fears that the problem is escalating.  So, what can local authorities do to tackle this issue?

How can we solve this problem?

According to a recent Government Transport Committee Report[1], there are several solutions required to combat the problem of pavement parking. These include:

  • Education and awareness of drivers. However, the report concedes that the majority of drivers know they are breaking the law, but do it anyway
  • Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs).  Between 2016 and 2018, only 37% of local authorities had put TROs in place to restrict pavement parking[2]. This is because making a TRO can be a time consuming and expensive process
  • Enforcement. But responsibility currently lies with the police which has limited resources or appetite for enforcement.

In response to these challenges, the report is calling for a nationwide ban on pavement parking while giving local authorities the power of enforcement.

Prevention is better than cure

Of course, making people responsible for poor parking choices is to be commended. But there is an easier and cost-effective way to combat this issue.

Engineering measures such as security bollards and barriers can be used effectively to stop people parking on pavements. For example, concerned that pavement parking was causing a “nuisance” in Wakefield city centre, the council recently placed more than 40 security bollards along a particularly problematic stretch of road.

And, while there are concerns about “street clutter”, when a considered approach is used to inhibit pavement parking with bollards, both local authorities and pedestrians will benefit.

Why security bollards are part of the pavement parking solution

Many towns and cities across the UK have pavements which are abused by anti-social drivers. Security bollards could be the ideal solution to prevent pavement parking. But as poorly thought-out bollards can degrade the character of an area, a considered approach is vital.

When you work with Macs, our expert advisors will thoroughly discuss and assess your specific needs and offer support and advice on the right products for you. As such, our security bollards help to enhance the local area, not diminish it. For example, we’ll not only recommend a design that works with the surrounding architecture, but we’ll also coordinate any bollard placement with other street furniture so that an excess of poles isn’t created.

 “Having worked with Macs Automated Bollards Systems for a number of years, I find them very professional in their approach to the supply and installation of rising bollards. From initial advice to installation, nothing is too much for them, the attitude they bring is “there isn’t a problem we can’t solve for you”.”

Local authority spokesperson

Giving you complete peace of mind, we have also achieved many accreditations which demonstrate our high standards of service, workmanship and commitment to operate within full health and safety guidelines.

When it comes to security, Macs Automated Bollard Systems understands how important protecting your world is – so let’s protect it together. For a free quote on our security bollards, or to ask us a question, call our service team on 0161 320 6462 or email us by completing our contact form.


[1] https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmtrans/1982/1982.pdf

[2] http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/transport-committee/pavement-parking/written/102252.html

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