When we summon up a picture of parking chaos we probably imagine bustling city centres, broken barriers at multi-storeys, or that mad dash for the last available space on the supermarket car park during your holiday period of choice. Stressful as it all is, we often take the issue of parking as part and parcel of our daily commutes and leisure trips alike.
But believe it or not, when it comes to real parking chaos, there are actually much bigger problems in much smaller areas.
In a city centre or town location, parking options are at least always present if not often clearly signposted or available at the time you arrive. School locations, on the other hand…
Given the fact that precisely zero of a school’s ‘clients’ can legally drive or even reach the pedals of a licensed automobile, parking requirements that exceed the need for first-come-first-served staff spaces and the occasional visitor bay here and there are a rarity. You can imagine, then, if you’re not already a parent or carer with a child of school-going age, that finding a safe, convenient and appropriate place to park your car twice a day as you face drop-off and pick-up is a challenge. Especially when literally up to hundreds of other parents are attempting the same feat at pretty much the exact same time. Pavement parking – in all its forms – is often the only choice.
The problem of reckless parking, irate parents, and put-upon school staff has always been a part of the school-run life for many people – certainly for 38 of the 52 weeks each year. But, whilst lockdown has temporarily convinced us that we’re all “just glad to have the kids back in school”, it won’t be long until the niggles and complaints all start up again regarding the whole school-going experience. The nightmare drop-offs and pick-ups will certainly feature, especially now that we’re expected to socially distance whilst doing this, too.
Of course, schools and their hectic drop-offs and pick-ups aren’t the only culprits causing concern, and generally, pavement parking is a problem in many different villages, towns and cities around the UK.
Breaking the law?
Unless you’re reading this at your fixed abode in London, you’re not breaking the law to pavement park – at present! Lancashire County Council could soon be paving the way for a law change, however, as they seek to take on board the increasing number of complaints and concerns from their residents across the county, where pedestrians have been caused significant difficulty as a result of pavement parking. A change would mean that the authority’s own parking enforcement teams could issue fixed penalty notices (PCNs) in those instances. When we think of those who are particularly affected by pavement parking in our localities, the list cannot be ignored.
For example, those with disabilities who may rely on the use of a wheelchair, a cane, or perhaps even a carer, will find it incredibly difficult to access the safety of the pavement when it’s over-run with parked cars. Even with the freedom to access a dropped kerb, they may still struggle with navigating the tight and uneven spaces dotted between hastily parked vehicles.
Parents with prams or pushchairs will also face the same practical difficulties – whilst simultaneously dealing with the emotional effects of trying to go about their daily business with a small child or two in tow.
And, let’s not forget local residents who struggle to access or leave their own property, local people out on walks or runs who would probably prefer not to exercise in the middle of the road, and local businesses who are struggling to provide access for their deliveries and spaces for their customers.
When we think about it, although a driver finds solace in having been able to park their vehicle in a busy or built up area, the number of people that their pavement parking inconveniences as a result is hugely disproportionate.
Paving the way to parking enforcement
At ParkingEye, we want to make sure that any additional stress is taken off the hands of business owners, schools, visitors, shoppers and local residents, as we all begin to venture more fully back out into the world.
So, how can we help?
It’s simple. We work with local businesses and authorities to place clear, BPA-approved signage on site and in the individual premise’s vicinity to inform drivers of the restrictions and penalties in place for pavement parking. We also help our clients to advise them exactly what those restrictions could be and how they could best work for their unique circumstances. As with all of our work, motorists are always given every opportunity to do the right thing.
But, we know that for convenience, this won’t always be enough, and that some people would rather face the possibility of a fine than be inconvenienced as to where to park. When it comes to people who hold that viewpoint, the problem of pavement parking doesn’t go away. The offenders continue to offend, and pedestrians from all walks of the community continue to be at a disadvantage. Though it looks more and more likely that some councils will be pushing for bans – perhaps as a result of petitioning parents as in the case of many school-based problems – there are other ways in which ParkingEye can support our communities.
We work with landlords and business owners to look at plans enabling them to utilise their unused parking spaces as a way to generate revenue. This also goes a long way in the locality to alleviate pavement parking problems elsewhere. As well as making things physically safer, partnering in this way also strengthens community links, and best of all, generates additional revenue with no added work for the client. In the case of a school, for example, this money that can be seen by parents to be reinvested into their children’s future.
Of course, the dream is that more cars are taken away from already busy and built-up areas altogether and therefore reduce impact on the environment, but until that day, at least ParkingEye can help resolve the parking issues and make things a little more peaceful in the process.
If you would like to find out more about our services, please head over to our car park management solutions page for more information, and get in touch with us today!