Local councils in Wales could soon be able to issue fines to people parking their cars on the pavement.

An 18-month pilot scheme has been ongoing in Cardiff since 2021 in which drivers who park their vehicle on a pavement on City Road face a £70 penalty charge notice.

Upon the start of the pilot scheme, a Cardiff Council spokesperson said: "In a recent survey, 70% of those who responded felt that pavement parking was an issue in Cardiff and should be made illegal if possible.”

This scheme follows the creation of the Wales Pavement Parking Taskforce (WPPT) in 2019 by then Minister for Economy and Transport, Lee Waters MS, an independent group backed by Welsh Government ministers.

What is the aim of the WPPT?

The group's main focus is to give councils additional civil enforcement powers to fine pavement parkers.

Mr Waters, now Deputy Minister for Climate Change, said: “The current law is not as clear as it could be.

“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."

Mr Waters, in a recent statement, said he and the WPPT were hoping councils would have the power to issue fines to pavement parkers by the end of 2023, but admitted progress had been slow.

County Times: Deputy Economy and Transport Minister, Lee Waters MS.Deputy Economy and Transport Minister, Lee Waters MS. (Image: Lee Waters MS)

He said: “We committed to work with stakeholders to further develop and refine the proposal to give Local Authorities the powers to tackle pavement parking by introducing subordinate legislation to allow civil enforcement.

“However, progress has been frustratingly slow.

“To achieve our aim, we need the UK Government to amend existing regulations on obstruction of the road – expressly separating out obstruction of the pavement.

“The UK Government have committed to this but have not yet secured parliamentary time to take this forward, nor is time likely to be found in the foreseeable future.”

“I reconvened the Wales Pavement Parking Taskforce last year and asked them to explore other ways of achieving our policy aims.

“The Taskforce examined the feasibility of using the existing offence of obstruction of the road to address the issue of pavement parking.

“This approach could deliver additional benefits, allowing local authorities in Wales to deal with both pavement parking and also parked vehicles obstructing our roads. 

“The Pavement Parking Taskforce has subsequently provided an addendum to their original report and recommended that this is the best way forward.

“I have accepted this recommendation and now propose to consult widely prior with a view to introducing the necessary legislation by the end of 2023.”

County Times: Councils could be able to issue fines to pavement parkers as soon as this year.Councils could be able to issue fines to pavement parkers as soon as this year. (Image: Newsquest)

How do the public feel about pavement parking?

Charity Living Streets conducted its own survey about pavement parking to get the public’s view.

The survey found, 83% of people found pavement parking a very large, large or common problem.

A further 83% of people supported the introduction of a pavement parking fine.

One lady in the report produced from the survey said: “When I’m out walking with a pushchair and a dog, I often encounter real challenges with pavement parking.

“I have to put myself, my baby and my dog at risk to negotiate the cars that are parked on the pavement by going on the road as there isn’t enough space for me to pass.”