Tuesday 13 August 2013

Copy of pavement parking letter sent to our PCC

Not a very interesting post this. Just FYI - a copy of the letter I've just sent to our PCC.

Dear Sir,

Thanks for taking a few moments to discuss the problem of pavement parking today; good to see you out and about even if, ironically, the brightly stickered PCC car was itself parked on the pavement in the centre of Cambridge today.

I have previously reported the issue of pavement parking, where pavements aren't just parked on but blocked, to the City Council, to the County Council and to the Police. I've ended up playing quite a merry game - the County advised I should talk to Police, Police said try the City, and the City said talk to the County council. This rather elegant game of citizen ping-pong is the time honoured way for our two councils to avoid taking responsibility, but inclusion of the police in his is particularly special. Since then I've had the County tell me its technically their job without actually doing it, and the Police say they'll look at it case by case although its not clear what, if entirely blocking the pavement isn't enough, would be enough for them to do something. 

I would contend that whenever a car is parked on the pavement it has likely been driven there, and this is an offense. I would further state that whenever a car is regularly found to be parked on the pavement we can be sure that is has been regularly driven there. 

Pavement parking makes the street environment unpleasant and dangerous. Walking around into even light traffic is unpleasant - the knock on effect of this is that elderly and disabled pedestrians are disadvantaged. I would also suggest that this encourages motorists to drive far more rapidly on the road - as a cyclist, I would rather ride on roads with legally, rather than illegally, parked cars.

I have used a relatively new resource (Shapeyourplace) to bring this to the attention of police and councilors  but it is quite clear that Cambridgeshire Constabulary do not care - as I think will be clear from reading Inspector Poppits responses here: http://cambridge.shapeyourplace.org/2013/06/25/pavement-parking-montrose-close/#.UgpQLY1lQ4c

I would like to make the streets, especially close to where I live, safer and more pleasant. I find that the Police are not my ally in this. As a cyclist and a pedestrian I really do think this matters - as a concerned citizen I think it also matters that this law is so widely flouted.

It is obvious that cars being driven, regularly, on the pavement are a problem. The act of driving on the pavement is illegal. Can we get this enforced please?

Yours sincerely,


  1. The sad fact is that pavement parking is not actually against the Highway Code, except in London; rather the Code "advises" against it rather than actually making it an offence.

    1. Pavement -parking- may not be illegal, but the act of driving on to and off the pavement is clearly illegal. So unless they're helicoptering the cars in... :)