Pavement parking not included in Bedford council's new traffic enforcement powers

The council’s highways boss said it was ‘more nuisance than an offence’

By John Guinn, Local Democracy Reporter
Monday, 18th July 2022, 4:51 pm

Bedford Borough Council’s new traffic enforcement powers will not automatically cover the “nuisance” caused by pavement parking.

A report presented to the Environment and Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee last week (Thursday, July 14) said that in June the council was granted powers to enforce moving traffic contraventions.

These include no right turns, U-turns, no-vehicle entry points, and stopping in yellow boxes at junctions.

Pavement parking on Stanley Street

Matthew D’Archambaud, chief officer, highways, transport and engineering, said: “We’re looking at some appropriate sites to introduce these powers or introduce some of this equipment that deals with safety issues, congestion issues, air quality issues, etc.”

Councillor Graeme Coombes (Conservative, Wilshamstead) asked: “How are you actually going to ensure that you have enough people to enforce these new powers?

Mr D’Archambaud replied: “The plan is that we will capture the majority of these contraventions via camera enforcement rather than sort of individual enforcement.”

Committee chair, councillor Kay Burley (Labour, Kempston Central & East) said: “If [the public] think we’ve got these powers they will expect things to happen.

“In reality, we’re not going to have people walking up and down Kempston High Street looking for people that are parked on pavements.

“People want someone to come along and move the car away or tell them off,” she said

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Mr D’Archambaud replied that the council doesn’t have the powers to physically move people’s vehicles.

Councillor James Weir (Conservative, Kempston Rural) said his residents have issues with pavement parking and parking across cycleways.

“Is it a nuisance or is it breaking the law,” he asked.

Mr D’Archambaud said pavement parking is a problem for those using pushchairs or wheelchairs.

“Pavement parking, unless there is special legislation put in for that area of pavement, is more nuisance than an offence.

“Where we have no verge parking Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO) or appropriate orders to that fact then we can enforce.

“Unfortunately it is more of a nuisance than something we can enforce against, “ he said.

Councillor Weir said: ”I do agree with the chair that if we’re going down this road of moving traffic enforcement I think we need to really tighten up on the non-moving traffic so that we don’t have issues on cycle lanes, etc.”