Calls for Government help to halt pavement parking in Sidmouth

Cllr Stuart Hughes. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 3456-10-11AW

Cllr Stuart Hughes. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 3456-10-11AW - Credit: Archant

Devon’s highways chief is calling on the Secretary of State for Transport to give councils more powers to stop drivers parking on pavements – saying it threatens safety and pushes up costs.

Councillor Stuart Hughes wrote to Patrick McLoughlin MP and now has reiterated his concerns to his successor, Chris Grayling MP, that local authorities need greater support.

He expressed his disappointment that the Pavement Parking Bill was withdrawn - as it could have put a stop to drivers leaving their vehicles on footways - and said Devon County Council will do what it can to assist the Government.

Writing to Mr Grayling, Cllr Hughes said: “The county council recognises the impact that pavement parking has on pedestrians, particularly those that are most vulnerable – the elderly, parents with buggies, the visually impaired, and wheelchair users.

“Pavement parking can also damage the structure of footways, increasing maintenance costs.”

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He said local authorities had been invited to a ‘round table’ working group in July, but the meeting was subsequently abandoned.

Cllr Hughes, who also represents Sidmouth, told the Herald: “This issue has been dragging out for far too long and at present our civil enforcement officers haven’t the necessary powers to combat the problem.

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“We have seen and heard of many local residents who have tripped on broken and damaged paving stones caused by HGVs and other vehicles driving and parking on pavements.

“I am hoping that this letter may help in getting the promised round table meeting back on track.”

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