Torbay MP Kevin Foster has welcomed the launch of a Government consultation asking whether a change should be made to existing pavement parking laws.

Kevin has long called for a change in the law to deal with the problems caused by pavement parking.

Recent research from charity Guide Dogs indicated 32 per cent of people with visual impairments and 48 per cent of wheelchair users are less keen to go out on their own because of anti-social pavement parking

The current law is confusing for drivers with a ban on pavement parking in London, unless it is indicated you can park, while outside the capital only the parking of lorries on a pavement is illegal, unless it is specifically indicated you cannot park there.

Non-London Councils are obliged to implement specific costly parking restrictions on each stretch of pavement or the road itself.

While a vehicle obstructing a pavement can be dealt with by the police, most parking matters are now enforced by local councils, including Torbay Council. In recognition of limited parking spaces and the situation in areas built before the advent of mass motoring, the system in London allows councils to zone streets, areas and specific pavements as places where parking is allowed.

This creates clarity for drivers and pedestrians about where vehicles can and cannot park.

The Government is now proposing three options as part of the consultation:

• improving the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) process, under which local authorities can already prohibit pavement parking

• a legislative change to allow local authorities with civil parking enforcement powers to enforce against ‘unnecessary obstruction of the pavement’

• a legislative change to introduce a London-style pavement parking prohibition throughout England.

Kevin said: “It makes no sense for there to be an entirely different legal structure as to whether you can park on pavement depending on whether you are in Peckham or Paignton. The system in London has worked well for nearly 50 years and allows flexibility where needed in areas built before the onset of mass motoring.

“A change in the law is long overdue.”