Unfortunately I will be unable to attend the Second Reading of the Pavement Parking Bill on 4th December, owing to prior commitments in the constituency on that day. However, I will be paying close attention to the passage of the Bill and I hope it is successful at its Second Reading.
More generally, I welcome the steps taken by the previous Government to make it easier for councils to tackle pavement parking. Any local authority that has taken up civil enforcement powers may introduce a ban on pavement parking where they see fit. I have also spoken to Cllr Paul Skinner, who is responsible for this issue on Boston Borough Council, about the matter and its effects locally.
In 2011, Conservative Ministers gave all councils authorisation to use a sign banning parking on the pavement without first asking Whitehall for permission. Ministers also wrote to councils encouraging them to use their powers to prevent parking on the pavement where it is a problem. Furthermore, in June 2014 Ministers again wrote to all English Traffic Authorities to remind them of their existing, wide-ranging powers to prevent people from parking on the pavement where it is a problem.
Thanks to these steps, I believe that local authorities are in the best position to decide where and whether pavement parking should or should not be permitted. While there may be some streets where pavement parking is inevitable to maintain free passage of traffic, I do agree that drivers should do all they can to ensure that they do not block the pavement.