The UK government has today opened a public consultation into the potential banning of pavement parking in England.
The Department of Transport (DfT)’s consultation on whether “a change of existing pavement parking legislation should occur” could see the practice of pavement parking either banned nationwide, or see local councils awarded more power to tackle the issue.
It’s said to be all part of the government’s plans to make walking easier for disabled people and parents pushing prams.
The practice is currently only banned in London – where fines range from £80 to £130, depending on the seriousness of the offence – but elsewhere in the country, it is only prohibited for lorries.
Improving the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) process, under which local authorities can already prohibit pavement parking.
A legislative change to allow local authorities with civil parking enforcement powers to enforce against ‘unnecessary obstruction of the pavement’.
A legislative change to introduce a London-style pavement parking prohibition throughout England.
It comes after recent research by blind and visual impairment charity Guide Dogs indicated that 32% of people with visual impairments and 48% of wheelchair users are less keen to go out on their own because of antisocial pavement parking.
The DfT stated that any measures will need to “ensure the free-flow of traffic and access for the emergency services”.
Grant Shapps – Secretary of State for Transport – added: “Parking on pavements means wheelchair users, visually impaired people and parents with pushchairs can be forced into the road, which is not only dangerous but discourages people from making journeys.
“A key part of our green, post-COVID recovery will be encouraging more people to choose active travel, such as walking, so it is vital that we make the nation’s pavements accessible for everyone. Pavement parking presents a clear safety risk when parked cars occupy the pavement and force vulnerable pedestrians to move into the road.”
Witnesses told MPs that some of the worst cases of pavement parking were effectively trapping disabled, elderly and vulnerable people, making them “afraid to leave their homes”, and a rise in detrimental pavement parking also appears to have been reported over the past few months of lockdown amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Stephen Edwards – Director of Policy and Communications at walking charity Living Streets – said: “We’re regularly contacted by disabled and older people who feel trapped in their homes because there isn’t enough room on the pavement for wheelchairs or mobility scooters.
“This has impacted more people during the pandemic, with blocked pavements affecting everyone’s ability to physically distance.”
Justine Roberts – Founder and Chief Executive of Mumsnet – added: “Lots of us have occasionally parked a couple of wheels up on the pavement to leave space on the road without really thinking about how it might inconvenience people.
“It’s a topic that comes up regularly on Mumsnet, where wheelchair users and people with buggies share stories about being forced into the road, or having to double back long distances.”
On the flip side, the AA has warned that a ban would have “unintended consequences”.
Jack Cousens – Head of Roads Policy at AA – said: “As we have seen over the past few weeks with road closures and narrowed roads, councils have acted with little consultation and in many cases lost confidence of the communities they serve.
“Local authorities should make a street-by-street assessment and where pavement parking is allowed, markings should show how much pavement can be used. While councils have always had the powers to tackle problem parking, it would be typical if the only time they act is when there is fines income to be had from it.”
To have your say in the Managing Pavement Parking consultation, you can do so via the gov.uk website here.
Police seize 17 dogs after 6-year-old girl is injured during attack in Carrington
17 dogs have now been seized by police after a six-year-old girl was injured during at attack in Carrington this past weekend.
Shortly before 2:40pm on Sunday 26 March, officers from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) were called to an address on Ackers Lane in Carrington in Trafford after receiving reports that a child had “suffered injuries caused by dogs”.
The child, a six-year-old girl, was taken to hospital shortly after police arrived at the scene, and remains there “in a stable condition”.
GMP first confirmed that four adult dogs and nine puppies were seized by officers on Sunday, and were taken away by specialist partners.
Four more dogs were then seized yesterday, bringing the total to 17.
With investigations ongoing, GMP has confirmed that a “vehicle of interest” has been recovered and searched, as well as three people having been arrested on suspicion of owning a dangerous dog – but they have each since been released on bail.
Enquires are still continuing to locate individuals the force believes “have responsibility for the dogs”.
Detective Inspector Matthew Dixon, of GMP’s Trafford district, called it “a fluid investigation”, and added that: “So far we have recovered 17 dogs and made three arrests, as well as a vehicle of interest – however, the investigation is very much ongoing.”
Greater Manchester Police says it has referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) over the incident.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact police quoting log 1612-26/03/23.
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Manchester United reject offers for Mason Greenwood as rep says he ‘should be allowed to move forward with his young life’
Manchester United have reportedly rejected a number of offers for Mason Greenwood as the club continues their internal investigation into his behaviour.
The club have reportedly received a number of offers for the young forward from Turkish teams in recent weeks and months while Greenwood has been suspended from playing or training. He has yet to return to the sport after charges of attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and assault occasioning actual bodily harm were dropped.
The charges handed down in January 2022 were ultimately dropped last month when key witnesses withdrew, more than a year on from the incident that was widely circulated on social media.
Now, following a behind-the-scenes feature by The Athletic and ‘new material’ leading the Crown Prosecution Service to drop the case for the foreseeable, it seems United are now the only party still investigating Greenwood, with his own team and figures around the club pushing for a resolution.
Speaking to Laurie Whitwell as part of the piece, one of Greenwood’s representatives argued that there is “no real substance” to the allegations, them “a mix of old news, speculation, half-truths and completely untrue claims.”
He went on to say, “Mason is 21, he has been cleared and should be allowed the opportunity to rebuild and move forward with his young life.”
Another source is also said to have told the outlet that the youngster has been fundamentally changed by the experience, insisting that he “would run through a brick wall” to be back playing at United.
As for the club’s stance, it remains to be seen what their final decision on his future will be, but it was reported earlier this month that a potential return is still “firmly under consideration” and his number 11 shirt has not yet been vacated as many would have expected if he was set to move on.
On the other hand, the article goes on to detail questions surrounding Greenwood’s conduct and general attitude during his relatively short time as a senior player too, the suggestion being that he was slacking in training because “he knew he was a good player”.
His attendance at Carrington is said to have been raised as an issue on more than one occasion and then-manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær often covered for training sessions and games he missed after failing to turn up to the team hotel for “unexplained absences”.
Another source who watched him play aged just 16 also went on to reveal that Bradford-born academy product “wasn’t shy about telling someone they were s***”, apparently even calling out Cristiano Ronaldo as “dead [finished]” when he was still at Real Madrid.
Greenwood played over 100 senior games for United and was widely considered one of the brightest young prospects in England, let alone the club, but the career trajectory he looked to be on is widely different from the problematic position he finds himself in now, regardless of any offers from abroad.