Seth Piper, a pedestrian campaigner and a volunteer with Bristol Living Streets says that pavement parking affects the quality of life and is a danger to pedestrians. He asserted that the Bristol City Council and Avon and Somerset Constabulary are each failing to take responsibility and avoiding dealing with the problem.
The narrow residential streets of Bristol makes parking a major issue, with motorists often parking either side of the road and wheels mounted on the pavement in order to allow traffic to flow. Even when cars are parked correctly, emergency services still find it difficult getting to where they are needed. Residents in Bishopston and St Andrews are posting daily images of cars parked obstructing pavements, forcing pedestrians in to the road.
Mr Piper believes that the inability of the authorities to accept blame for the problem and their desire to not annoy motorists makes moving around difficult for pedestrians, people with disabilities and people with pushchairs. He says “to be specific, the inconvenience comes from not being able to access the foot way and having to walk in the road which itself is a danger.”
Living Streets is campaigning for a new law that bans parking on the pavement but this seems unlikely as a statement by Avon and Somerset Constabulary last week highlighted the issue. It said: “Essentially, other than in London, there is no specific offence of ‘pavement parking’, except in relation to heavy commercial vehicles.”