Residents protected as parking prohibited on Elm Grove pavements

Posted On 16 Mar 2023 at 12:01 am

Elm Grove residents will be pleased that, at long last, work can finally begin to put a stop to parking on pavements and verges there, following years of efforts from both residents and Greens.

Following consultation, council officers are now able to bring a prohibition order into place to restrict parking on the pavement.

Residents in Elm Grove have been plagued by pavement parking for many years, with several near misses involving small children coming outside their homes.

Residents have seen cars driving along the pavement on numerous occasions but action taken by the police is unlikely, even with video footage submitted.

The order agreed last month will mean that there is a new “traffic regulation order” (TRO) in place restricting this activity. Signage is being created and should go up within the next two months.

Drivers with vehicles parked there will be given time to move their vehicles before penalties for breaking the order begin.

The case for this measure is clear. The increasing number of vehicles blocking pavements means the walk to school is riddled with danger.

People on foot, some with small children and/or pushing buggies, are forced into the road which risks them being hit by oncoming traffic.

A Living Streets survey found that 80 per cent of parents and carers said they would feel safer allowing their children to walk to school if they didn’t have to worry about cars and vans being parked on the pavement.

Pavement parking is just as much of a problem for disabled people. Vehicles on pavements make can make navigating the streets too challenging to even attempt for residents with sight and mobility issues, with 95 per cent saying that they have had problems.

A person in a wheelchair is essentially stuck when their path is blocked by a car or van. It is sad but hardly surprising that a half of all wheelchair users don’t go out because of their concerns around vehicles on pavements.

The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) argues that vehicles blocking pavements are in breach of the 2010 Equality Act, as it puts blind and partially sighted people at a substantial disadvantage.

As well as impeding the path of some of our most vulnerable residents, pavement parking damages our city’s footways and can lead to higher maintenance costs.

However, as it stands, councils outside London do not have the powers to address the problem. Two years ago, the House of Commons Transport Select Committee recommended a ban on pavement parking across England along with an awareness campaign around the negative effects of vehicles parking on the pavement.

A public consultation on pavement parking followed. Residents have naturally been frustrated by delays so far but, despite the clear consensus between Greens and residents, there has been opposition.

As Greens, we have had to consistently push Labour and Conservative colleagues to take this issue seriously.

Labour delayed the work in Elm Grove by tiptoeing around drivers parking anti-socially, rather than prioritising the safety needs of residents and pedestrians.

And despite over two years passing since the Tory government’s consultation ended, a response has yet to be published.

Greens have written to the government asking for local authorities to be given the powers to enforce a ban on pavement parking. In lieu of this, we have taken what actions we can and believe it will be a significant improvement.

It’s imperative that the greater threat to our residents of the inconsiderate and dangerous practice of parking on pavements comes under the spotlight.

We need to put pressure on the government to finish what they started, that is, to give local authorities powers to fine drivers who carry out this dangerous and anti-social practice, in the hope of putting a stop to it.

So, ward councillors are celebrating the fact that Elm Grove – a street with a school at the heart of it – will no longer be blighted by vehicles on the pavement.

However, we look forward to the day that we can protect all our pavements so that residents can walk and wheel safely across our city.

Councillor Elaine Hills is the Green joint chair of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee.

  1. Mr Andrew Camper Reply

    So glad I moved out before the area went so loony green, parking on the pavement was needed by residents because its been a free parking zone. Never had any casualty from parking there of note for years, so all this will do is make it harder for residents to find a place to park a car. Or just use a bike these days and vote for the Greens in council. People who see the humble car as the thing to be angry about in life.

    • Benjamin Reply

      No injury that you’ve ever heard about, my friend. The idiom of “I didn’t see one so it didn’t happen” is an extremely weak argument.

      • mart Burt Reply

        There’s something called Accident Data that records incidents across the whole UK.
        There have been no recorded incidents on pavements in the Elm Grove area and it would certainly have been reported in the local newspapers and guaranteed to be highlighted by BHCC as a valid reason and a point in their favour.
        The facts are, there have been no injuries so effectively the DATA tells us there have been none.

  2. Derek Reply

    Other areas in the city need similar treatment to give pedestrians priority on footpaths

    • Benjamin Reply

      I think this is reasonable, there are a few areas in Brighton I can think of that are used heavily by pedestrians, and would benefit from such a change.

  3. sd Reply

    The cars are fine, the pavements are so wide, there’s plenty of room.

    What is dangerous is the uneven throughout Elm Grove. I do hope that the pavement will be made safe.

    • Benjamin Reply

      Dear Sd, one of the major factors that cause uneven pavements to occur rapidly is heavy motor vehicles parking on pavements. A good preventative measure, therefore, would be to stop cars from parking on pavements.

      • mart Burt Reply

        Point is, they are not parked on the pavement but in the designated area between the PAVEMENT and Road.
        Perhaps gain some local knowledge before commenting.

  4. sd Reply

    *uneven pavement!

    • Tony Harper Reply

      Cllr Hills – thank you, and goodbye.

  5. Peter Reply

    And where are they going to park now on the road making it narrower than it is now This is simply more Green crap to try and force cars out most of those parked there are residents double yellow the road then and the residents won’t complain will they

    • Benjamin Reply

      Disagree, people did not park on the pavement exclusively beforehand, therefore your assertion of narrower roads is not correct in this instance.

      • mart Burt Reply

        As pointed out elsewhere to you, gain some local knowledge before making comments on a subject.
        Parking between the pavement and the road has been in place for as long as I can remember and it was designed like that.
        And you’re wrong, if vehicles are now forced from off the road area onto the road it would be obvious even to a small child that road then becomes narrower.
        perhaps take a visit to Elm Grove and educate yourself.

  6. Jon Reply

    This article is biased nonsense and doesn’t reflect the views of local residents at all. Will you publish a response?

    • Ivan Reply

      Erm…they have. You’re it!

  7. Nathan Adler Reply

    Whilst I get that pavement parking needs to be addressed there are far worse streets than Elm Grove that need addressing first. Secondly it’s typical Green to dogma to use disability as an issue when it suits them, (the RNIB here), but ignore it, (Gardner Street), when it suits them. It is selective listening.

    • Benjamin Reply

      I mean, using strawman to highlight strawman is a fallacy fallacy! You’re right there are worse streets, however, one can do both and it doesn’t have to be in order. Improvement is an improvement, by an inch or a mile.

      • mart Burt Reply

        Improvement is far from what is being achieved here, as highlighted a couple of times now, vehicle parking was designed so they were off the road.
        The pavements are wide and there was absolutely no issues where disabled are concerned nor those with young children as vehicles never parked on the pavements.

  8. Nuwang Reply

    Now do outside the aquarium!

    • Derek Reply

      yes its not good there for pedestrians

    • Benjamin Reply

      I always thought a turbo roundabout would be an interesting consideration, allowing vehicles to continue along Kingsway unimpeded and reducing the number of junction contacts. I’m not a road designer, but it would be interesting to consider if it would be beneficial.

  9. Dave Reply

    What a load of dribble. No one parks on the pavement, they park on the verge which still leave a pretty generous 2 metre wide pavement. If you can’t operate a wheelchair on that size pavement lol how do you get up Trafalgar Street… Nonsense article and I expect better tbh, such little truth in this article this is borderline propaganda.

    • Peter Challis Reply

      Makes you wonder if (thankfully soon to bee departed) Elaine has ever been to Elm Grove?

      Unfortunately it looks like replacements across the city are similarly driven by ideology and dogma and deaf to what the electorate want.

      But we’ve got used to that with Green Party supporters 😏

  10. Simon Nicholson Reply

    As someone who regularly pushed a wheelchair down Elm Grove I am mystified at the claim that it is a problem. The pavements are very wide and are not blocked by cars. Now I couldn’t push a wheelchair down Franklin Road as the pavements are narrow and have been ruined by the trees – how about fixing them – which is why we always went via Elm Grove. This is entirely ideological and not based on fact or I think what the majority of residents want.

  11. mart Burt Reply

    I’m not sure what planet some people are on.
    Elm Grove was designed to allow parking off the road between the pavement and the road itself. This has been the case for as long as I can remember.
    The pavement is wide and saying people have to walk into the road is total rubbish as I’ve never seen a vehicle PARKED on the pavement.
    Yes I’ve seen idiots driving on the pavement to access a parking slot

  12. Jess Reply

    A TRO only applies to a road. The verge area is not covered by a TRO.

    • Benjamin Reply

      Yes, a Traffic Road Order (TRO) can affect verges. A TRO is a legal instrument that can be used to make changes to the layout of a road, such as adding or removing lanes, changing the speed limit, or installing traffic lights. These changes can have a significant impact on the verges that are located alongside the road.

      For example, if a TRO is issued to add a new lane to a road, the verge on that side of the road will likely need to be widened to accommodate the new lane. This could involve removing trees or other vegetation from the verge, or it could involve adding new soil and planting new vegetation.

      Similarly, if a TRO is issued to reduce the speed limit on a road, the verges on that road may need to be modified to reduce the risk of accidents. This could involve adding speed bumps or other traffic calming measures, or it could involve installing guardrails or other safety barriers.

      In some cases, a TRO may even require the removal of verges altogether. This could be necessary if the verges are in a state of disrepair or if they are obstructing the view of drivers.

      It is important to note that TROs are not always issued with the intention of affecting verges. In some cases, TROs are issued simply to make changes to the layout of a road. However, the changes that are made to the road can often have a significant impact on the verges that are located alongside the road.

      • mart Burt Reply

        Haha classic.
        So a TRO is issued simply to make changes to the layout of a road.
        Correct. To make changes to the layout of a road. As indicated before, the area is a designated parking area, otherwise, there would be no need for a TRO they could simply send Parking Enforcement Officers to ticket the offending vehicles don’t you think ?
        They need the TRO because they know they can not book any vehicle as it is an official parking area.

Leave a Reply


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.