Councils are to be given the power to fine people for parking on pavements.
Welsh Government ministers are backing recommendations to give councils across Wales additional civil enforcement powers to fine people who park on pavements.
The recommendations were made by the Welsh Pavement Parking Taskforce, an independent panel set up by the deputy transport minister, Lee Waters MS, last summer.
All recommendations by the taskforce are being accepted by the Welsh Government.
Mr Waters 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.”
The taskforce decided not to recommend that an outright ban be put in place on parking on pavements as it is “overly slow and complex”. In Scotland where they are pursuing such a ban, it is expected to take five years to implement.
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“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,” Mr Waters said.
“A recent survey found that 83% of people in Wales view it as a real problem.
“We recognise 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. This approach lets councils target hot spots and vary its approach depending on local circumstances.
“Taken together these two initiatives have real potential to save lives, and rebalance the environment in favour of pedestrians to create communities that put people before cars.”
It is expected that the power to fine people parking on pavements would be handed over to Welsh local authorities in July 2022.
Caerphilly issues £248,865 worth of fines
Last year Caerphilly County Borough Council took over responsibility of Civil Parking Enforcement from Gwent Police.
This gave it the power to issue parking tickets for offences such as: parking on double yellow lines; parking over dropped curbs; and overstaying time limits on parking bays.
According to figures released by Caerphilly County Borough Council under the Freedom of Information Act, there were 8,645 fines issued between April 2019 to December 2019.
Motorists face fines of up to £70 for the most serious offences reduced to £35 if paid within 14 days, and £50 for lesser parking breaches, reduced to £25 if paid with a fortnight.
Between April and December last year, the scheme generated £248,865 in fines.
Additional reporting by Alexia Conrath
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