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PaveMeant 4 People campaign set up to call for end of pavement parking in Mill Road, Cambridge

A campaign called ‘PaveMeant 4 People’ has been launched against pavement parking and other illegal parking along Mill Road.

Run by active travel campaigners Mill Road 4 People (MR4P), it aims to raise awareness of the negative impacts of anti-social parking and put pressure on Cambridgeshire County Council to enforce regulations.

A car spotted by the PaveMeant 4 People campaigners in Mill Road
A car spotted by the PaveMeant 4 People campaigners in Mill Road

The group has photographed a number of offending vehicles.

And on Saturday (November 11), they stood along the edge of the pavement to block parking in one of the worst-hit areas of Mill Road.

They handed out leaflets explaining why pavement parking is both anti-social and in some cases illegal. The leaflets also contained a map showing all the legal parking places nearby.

“We had a great response,” says organiser Andy Kennedy. “Some drivers genuinely didn’t realise they were breaking the law. This probably isn’t surprising since pavement parking is now so widespread and enforcement is practically non-existent.”

A spokesperson added: “We have already had some replies from companies promising to do better in future.

“Pavement parking blocks space intended for pedestrians and is particularly problematic for people with visual impairments or people with child buggies or in a wheelchair or mobility scooter. It also causes great damage to the pavements. Where cars straddle the kerb, they increase the need for potentially dangerous overtaking.

A taxi parked on a pavement in Mill Road. Picture: Mill Road 4 People
A taxi parked on a pavement in Mill Road. Picture: Mill Road 4 People

“The law around pavement parking is rather confusing. However, unless there is a dropped kerb or marked bays, it is an offence to drive onto a pavement. Mill Road also has double yellow lines along most of its length, meaning that it is illegal to park there at all apart from for the purposes of loading and unloading, or picking up or setting down a taxi passenger.

“In addition, it is common to see vehicles parked well within the statutory 10 metres of a junction. This is highly dangerous for pedestrians and for vehicles turning in and out of junctions.”

MR4P chair Paul Lythgoe said: “Many of us are old enough to remember a time when traffic regulations were properly enforced. Traffic wardens were always in evidence, and cyclists riding without lights could expect to be stopped and fined too. We simply don’t understand why the county council cannot undertake this work, which would surely be self-financing.”

As well as the car parks at Queen Anne’s Terrace and Gwydir Street, many of the roads off Mill Road have metred parking in the daytime and free parking in the evening.

If and when the planned bus gate on the bridge – currently subject to a legal dispute – is installed, MR4P has said it would like to see more short-term parking bays on the road, in order to benefit businesses and shoppers with mobility issues.

A van on a pavement in Mill Road. Picture: Mill Road 4 People
A van on a pavement in Mill Road. Picture: Mill Road 4 People

A Cambridgeshire County Council spokesperson said: “We encourage everyone to park with consideration for others, however parking on the pavement is a persistent problem and an ongoing concern for Cambridgeshire residents. It causes safety issues for everyone; it damages our pavements and prevents access for pedestrians and cyclists.

“The council’s civil enforcement officers patrol Mill Road on a daily basis, and may issue a penalty charge notice to a vehicle that is parked incorrectly. We cover the whole of Cambridge and, whilst we have limited resources, following a request for enforcement we will deploy an officer as soon as possible.”

To report an issue, either call 01223 727915, or alternatively email parkingcontrol@cambridgeshire.gov.uk.

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