War Memorial Gary Trouton

Do you drive a car?

January 2011

David pleads for a more commom sense approach to parking on the streets of Stole Ferry

People in Stoke Ferry and Wretton may have noticed that I have done a lot of walking in the past few years. As a pedestrian I am saddened and usually angered by people who park their cars on the pavement.

Why do they do it?

Perhaps they think that by parking on the pavement they get their cars out of the way of other vehicles, thereby protecting them from potential damage. Well, consider this:

* Their cars are insured against damage by other vehicles - or at least they should be.

* The pavement is for pedestrian use. That's why the pavement is there. Cars belong in the road. That's why the road is there.

* By parking on the pavement, they are forcing pedestrians to walk in the road. This also means wheelchair users, parents with children in pushchairs, and the elderly have to step off the pavement, walk around the car, and step back up on to the pavement again.

* Pedestrians probably aren't insured against damage by other vehicles.

* Most vehicles have steering wheels and brakes. This enables the drivers of those vehicles to slow down, or even - heaven forbid - stop, and to manoeuvre around a parked car. It's really not difficult to do.

Perhaps they think that most village roads are quiet and relatively free of traffic, and therefore that pedestrians will be in no danger if they have to walk in the road. Well, if there's no danger then their car will be safe as well, won't it? Therefore there is no need to park it on the pavement.

Perhaps they think that by getting the car off the road a little it will ease the flow of traffic. Well, when you think about it, even if only half the car is sticking out, a village road becomes too narrow for two vehicles to pass at the same time. One vehicle has to stop anyway to allow the other to pass. So the pedestrian has been inconvenienced or even blocked for no advantage to the moving traffic.

Perhaps we all ought to walk a little more!

David Smith

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