Southampton residents are in favour of potential government plans to ban motorists from parking on the pavement, a study has found.

The survey by used car dealership group Big Motoring World found that 75 per cent of residents polled agreed that pavement parking should be made illegal.

Pavement parking has been banned in London since 1974, and several other city councils have been pushing for the power to introduce new rules and fines for this in their areas too.

The Department for Transport has reportedly been drawing up plans to tackle pavement parking across the UK, with an outright ban one of the options under consideration.

The topic is not new to Southampton, as a petition was launched by Southampton City Council between August and September 2022, to make blocking the pavement with a vehicle an offence.

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While 235 people signed the online petition, the council has remained relatively quiet on the topic of pavement parking since then.

Although it advises on its website that “parking on the footway and verge is not in itself a civil offence, which means that Civil Enforcement Officers are unable to carry out enforcement action (i.e. issue a Penalty Charge Notice) where a formal parking restriction is not in place”.

It does also state that “there is a recommendation to introduce national legislation to make footway parking a civil offence, but this would need to go through Parliament,” and that “until such time that new legislation comes forward, the council can only enforce footway or verge parking if there are parking restrictions in place”.

The police may however issue a fine if a vehicle is causing a dangerous obstruction.

Exact dates when a full ban may be brought in, and what fines could be enforced are currently unknown, although many UK councils are pushing for a rule-change before the end of 2024, with fines of between £50 and £100.

Despite being in favour of the rule change, more than half of Southampton motorists (51 per cent) surveyed said they were unaware that there was even a chance that pavement parking could be made illegal in the coming year.

Ian Hajyzamanali, Head of Marketing at Big Motoring World, said: “Pavement parking is a topic that is sure to divide opinion.

“Pedestrians are often frustrated at their path being blocked by cars, but many motorists who have no choice but to park on narrow roads (and do not have access to a driveway) will be scratching their heads and wondering what they are supposed to do.”

He added: “The fact that most people have not heard about any proposed plans for a pavement parking ban clearly showcases that information needs to be more widely communicated to motorists so that they can plan accordingly.”