Headlines: May 6th, 2009

It has been confirmed that English councils are to get the power to deal more easily with inconsiderate and dangerous parking. From June those authorities which carry out parking enforcement will be able to issue penalty charges to drivers who double park or block dropped kerbs.

Councils in London have used the power for a number of years and the extension across England follows consultation which showed strong support for the measures to help wheelchair and pram users get on and off kerbs and to prevent drivers blocking residents’ drives. The new powers will mean Penalty Charge Notices can be issued without councils having to indicate the prohibitions with particular traffic signs or road markings.

The Transport Minister Paul Clark said: ”While we believe signs and markings are not necessary in these circumstances, we expect local authorities who want to use these powers to do so in a fair and transparent manner and publicise their plans to do so.”

Mr. Clark said dropped kerbs were there to help wheelchair users and people with powered mobility vehicles or prams to get around easily and safely and the Highway Code was clear that drivers should not stop or park in such places. He said the extension of the powers would improve national consistency and would help to reduce street clutter by limiting the number of signs at the roadside.

The move has been welcomed by the Joint Committee on Mobility for Disabled People. Its chair, Joe Hennessy, said: “Inconsiderate parking at dropped kerbs is a substantial barrier to the mobility of disabled people particularly at crossing points. The committee wholeheartedly support these new regulations.”