Pavement Parking: We’re all at risk, whatever our age

car on pavement

Over 40 people on pavements and verges in the UK are killed every year by drivers. And while most of those deaths are caused by speeding drivers who have lost control of their vehicle, pavement parking can be fatal. The findings of the most recent government consultation on pavement parking confirmed that vulnerable pedestrians are most at risk, including people who use mobility aids, including guide dogs, wheelchairs, and mobility scooters and young children.

For example, four-year-old Esme Weir was crushed to death on a pavement in Liverpool in front of her mother by a driver who pulled up onto the pavement to park.

More recently, one of our mobility insurance customers gave us an account of how he was crashed into by a driver on the pavement:

“A car mounted the pavement to access the car park and came straight at me and collided with the rear wheel of the scooter, tipping the scooter over and throwing me off. I traversed along the path on my back. I’m not sure whether or not I lost consciousness, but am now experiencing bouts of dizziness. I then became aware of people around me and believe an ambulance was called. I exchanged details with the driver who announced she hadn’t seen me and was late for a birthday lunch and would have to go. I have a badly bruised left hip and having to use a walking stick.”

Over 80 per cent of local authorities have reported that pavement parking is a widespread problem in their area.

A review of surveys submitted to the most recent government consultation on pavement parking indicated 95% of visually impaired people had had a problem with vehicles parked on pavements in the previous year. Almost a third of respondents with vision impairments were less willing to go out on their own because of pavement parking.

As well as the social cost, pavement parking also has a financial impact on local authorities with one estimating that 10 to 20% of its pavement repair budget of £500,000 is pavement parking-related damage each year.

The reluctance of government to deal with pavement parking may be due in part to the motoring lobby. The AA has described talk of a nationwide ban on pavement parking as ‘a step too far’ and a recipe for parking chaos. We disagree. We believe a nationwide ban would signal an important message: Pavements are for people.

The ethical choice

The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. Over 30 years on, we continue to offer cycle insurance , breakdown cover and mobility scooter insurance while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.

The Good Shopping Guide judges us to be the UK’s most ethical provider.


  1. Vincent Edwards


    The rule used to be that drivers should park away from corners, zig zags, yellow lines etc., close to and parallel with the kerb. Apparently now the rule is that drivers should park anywhere they like, any time they like and for as long as they like. And put at least two wheels on the pavement (more if possible). This is the result of years of total non-enforcement of parking laws in most parts of the country, with the result that many motorists don’t think the rules matter, even if they knew the rules existed in the first place. And the law on pavement parking is so ambiguous, it’s hardly surprising I’ve seen driving instructors direct their pupils onto the pavement. The only place where strict enforcement of regulations occurs is in car parks, where motorists are parked safely, endangering nobody but possibly being a slight nuisance by, for example, overstaying their allotted time. Topsy turvy priorities.

  2. Keith


    “And the law on pavement parking is so ambiguous”

    It isn’t ambiguous at all, Vincent: illegal in London; SHOULD BE illegal everywhere else – but ISN’T.


    Although this isn’t a “law on pavement parking”, it is explicitly a criminal offence to obstruct a “highway”:

    Footpaths are highways in legal terms:

    So – again – no ambiguity: there’s no need for new laws to deal with crappy parking outside of London, we just need the authorities to apply existing law.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Your name and email are required.