On 24 April 2017, I wrote to the Chief Executive of Walsall MBC to outline my constituents’ concerns on grass verge parking on Walstead Road, and to inform the Council that local authorities have the power to solve this issue.
There has been extensive grass verge parking on Walstead Road as a result of Walsall MBC’s decision to install double yellow lines against the wishes of residents. Out of the 13 households directly affected by the double yellow lines, Nos 17-29 Walstead Road, only one household is in favour, the other 12 households did not want double yellow lines.
In the responses to a questionnaire I produced for residents of Walstead Road and Delves Crescent, residents further made it clear that they want the double yellow lines removed.
My constituents are concerned because the vehicles have severely damaged the grass and this parking is dangerous. The vehicles cause an obstruction and inhibit the independence of vulnerable people, such as older or disabled people with visual or mobility impairments. The parking is also a nuisance for bus users on Walstead Road.
This is an important issue and charities such as Guide Dogs for the Blind and Living Streets have called for a nationwide ‘blanket ban’.
In my letter, I informed the Chief Executive that driving onto the pavement or footway (to park or otherwise) is an offence, and Local authorities have the power to stop this by introducing parking measures and prohibitions. In 2011, the Department for Transport wrote to councils “prompting them to use their powers to prevent parking on the pavement where it is a problem”.
It is clear that Walsall MBC has the power to resolve this issue and to enforce the law. The double yellow lines should be removed. This decision is one no reasonable authority should have made following the evidence of the consultation.
Well maintained road verges ensure that motorists have a good line of sight and allow pedestrians to walk more safely.