A taskforce targeting pavement parking is to be set up in Wales following the granting of additional powers to local authorities by the Welsh government.
From July 2022, councils will have the power to fine drivers that park on pavements, following recommendations from an independent expert group.
Wales’ deputy transport minister, Lee Waters, said: “There is no specific offence of parking on pavements, and though the police can enforce the existing criminal offence of causing ‘unnecessary obstruction of any part of the highway’, it is rarely enforced.
“We want more people to walk for short journeys and yet we tolerate an environment that is often not pedestrian-friendly; too many routes are cluttered or blocked. A recent survey found that 83% of people in Wales view it as a real problem.”
The new powers will target so-called ‘hot spots” rather than penalise drivers with no alternative and can be tailored to each local authority.
The Welsh pavement parking taskforce did however reject an outright ban, as is being pursued in Scotland. As such a ban would take five years to implement, the taskforce said it was overly slow and complex to implement.
The UK government has also begun a consultation into tackling the problem in England.