Councils in Wales could have greater powers to prevent pavement parking by 2022 after ministers backed recommendations from an independent taskforce.
In a statement to the Welsh Assembly, deputy transport minister Lee Waters, who set up the taskforce, said that the current law is not as clear as it could be and changes would be made to help councils target 'hot spots' through Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs).
'There is [currently] 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,' he said.
Mr Waters announced that the plan was to let councils 'target hot spots and vary its approach depending on local circumstances' adding that in 'some streets there are too many cars for the space available and we don’t want to penalise people who have no alternative'.
'By giving local authorities civil enforcement powers they can make judgments of where to clamp down. They can target hotspots like schools and respond to local circumstances. We intend for these new powers of "civil enforcement of unnecessary obstruction" to commence by July 2022.
'We will now set up an implementation group with local government representatives and stakeholders to develop enforcement guidance to help ensure a consistent approach is taken across Wales. This work will sit alongside the work we are doing to introduce a 20mph default speed limit in residential areas from April 2023.'
Scotland is pursuing an outright ban on pavement parking, which is set to take five years to implement. However the taskforce rejected that option as overly slow and complex.
Westminster has also recently begun to consult on ways to tackle the problem in England.
All ten recommendations of the Welsh Pavement Parking Taskforce are being accepted by the Welsh Government.