Motorists who park on pavements with no consideration for the safety of pedestrians or cyclists could soon face action, Deputy Minister for Transport Lee Waters has said today.
Speaking at an Active Travel conference in Cardiff today (July 4), the Deputy Minister announced that the Welsh Government would be putting together an expert group to explore ways of clamping down more widely on illegal parking, as well as pavement parkers, across Wales.
The Deputy Minister also repeated the Welsh Government’s commitment to change the default speed limit for residential areas across Wales from 30 to 20mph.
“Our goal is for people of all ages and abilities to be confident that they can make every day journeys by walking and cycling, and do so safely. But there are barriers in our villages, towns and cities to allow this to easily happen and this is something we must look at ways of addressing – not least as part of our wider response to the climate emergency, the air quality crisis and the obesity epidemic.
“This requires a change in our thinking and in our doing – addressing the issues we know are turning people away from active travel and making it as attractive as possible for everyone, particularly in highly residential areas. The Active Travel Fund is putting significant stand-alone investment to this end, creating high quality walking and cycling infrastructure for the first time, with over £30m for active travel schemes this year alone. But this must feed into a wider vision and we must consider improvements wherever and whenever they can make a difference.
“It’s for this reason that I have asked for an expert group to consider how we tackle one of the obvious barriers - pavement parking and illegal parking, which we know is a particular issue around schools in Wales. This, alongside the task group shortly being set up to provide concrete advice on changing the default speed limit from 30 to 20mph are tangible things we as a Government must lead on if we are serious about facilitating safe walking and cycling.
“This is not about penalising car users, but redressing the balance of power in our urban environment. The numerous benefits of active travel are well documented, and we are in a position here in Wales to really do something positive in making it the obvious choice for all ages. That is exactly what I intend to do.