Against Footway (Pavement) Parking

UPDATE 14/10/2015: I've written to my MP, Alex Chalk, asking him to support the Pavement Parking Bill at its second reading on December 4, 2015. Details at:


I have been guiding a sight-impaired user through St Marks, Cheltenham for a few months now, regularly encountering vehicles parked up on the pavement. While in many cases we're able to pass them single-file, most will become an obstruction in every sense of the word when he gets his guide dog (later this year, we hope).


We've both contacted Cheltenham Borough Council about this issue. I've also contacted APCOA, who Gloucestershire County Council have contracted on-street parking enforcement to -- under Decriminalised/Civil Parking Enforcement, the CBC had been responsible for this for a few years, but they returned that delegated authority to the GCC in 2013 -- and the police.

APCOA say that, in the absence of single or double yellow lines, as is the case for most of St Marks, pavement obstructions are a police matter. The police say that while they can help, in specific cases, via a call to 101, their role is more about informing the vehicle owner, and mediating a discussion between them and the caller; in general, while ticketing is an option, I got the impression that it's an extreme one that they would need to be able to justify in court. Interestingly, the police also say that, in the case of ongoing problems, the Borough Council still has a role, re improving signage or altering enforcement patrols, to name a couple of options. I'm still in discussions with them and the Borough Council on this last point.

In the absence of any new information, we've decided that, for now, we'll print off some colour copies of a punchy Guide Dogs flyer for all the mail slots around the worst offenders. Check back for updates on our progress! And if you know of other options that we haven't considered, or want to share your own pavement parking story, please comment below!



PS: the Guide Dogs flyer is at: -- part of their Streets Ahead campaign resources at:

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Further reading:

- Guidance on Parking Enforcement, Gloucestershire County Council, April 2015:

- Changes to parking enforcement in Cheltenham, Cheltenham Borough Council, 2013:

- APCOA to enforce on-street parking in Gloucestershire, BBC News, 2012:

- Civil Parking Enforcement in Gloucestershire 2008/09, Gloucestershire County Council:

- Gloucestershire Annual Parking Report 2014-2015, Gloucestershire County Council:

- Operational Guidance to Local Authorities: Parking Policy and Enforcement, DfT, 2008:

- Freeing pedestrians from pavement parking blight, DfT, 2011:

- Who put that there? The barriers to blind and partially sighted people getting out and about, RNIB, February 2015: -- part of their On My Street campaign:

- Pavement Parking, Living Streets Policy Factsheet:

- Pavement Parking FAQs, The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association:

Are vehicles allowed to park on the pavement?, Pedestrian Liberation blog, 2010:

The law, Pedestrian Liberation blog, 2010:

- Pavement Parking Bill 2014-15: -- this bill didn't make it through, but a new bill has since been introduced, entitled Pavement Parking (Protection of Vulnerable Pedestrians) Bill 2015-16:

- Informal emails with Gloucestershire Constabulary, Cheltenham Borough Council, and Gloucestershire County Council.

Please check back for updates.

Banner image file:

Banner image credit: By NVO (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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