Local Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani has written to the Transport Secretary urging him to ensure that a consultation to ensure pavements set to become safer for parents and disabled people does not get forgotten about.
The consultation was due this summer, but has not yet happened. Sam said: “This year has been a turbulent one, and it is still difficult for all of us. But we have to make sure that we carry on fixing day-to-day problems for people. Running a consultation such as this can be done without any real impact from the Coronavirus, so is exactly the sort of work that the Government should be taking forward.”
Pavement parking is a constant issue for parents with prams and buggies, and for anyone in a wheelchair, often necessitating that they move out into the road to pass – while being the least able to manoeuvre quickly should they need to. While some of it is necessitated by narrow streets and housebuilding which took place without expecting current levels of car ownership, there is still the requirement to ensure that all residents can use pavements safely.
Sam continued: “With many residents spending more time at home during lockdown – and using local streets for exercise – it has emphasised the issues that local residents have when cars block the pavement.
“I understand that across the whole of Oldham, we have many streets that make it extremely difficult for parking, which is why the original brief for the consultation was very good – it made it clear that there needed to be specific, different approaches in context.
“It will mean that people will not always be able to park as close to their house as is ideal, but if it is a choice between that and making someone with a pram or a wheelchair have to move into the road unnecessarily, then that is no choice at all.
“It is also crucial that this is addressed in the Council’s new Local Plan proposals – we need to ensure that we are both maximising the opportunities for sustainable transport, and creating enough space to ensure that cars can be kept out of pedestrians’ way.”