A new push for better parking?

Hertfordshire police officers taking a wheelchair out on the streets to test drivers' parking. Pictures: Hertfordshire Constabulary
Hertfordshire police officers taking a wheelchair out on the streets to test drivers' parking. Pictures: Hertfordshire Constabulary

A creative idea to keep pavements safe for prams and wheelchairs has received strong support from Littlehampton residents.

Police in Hertfordshire have been wheeling a pushchair down pavements on their beat to check drivers are leaving enough space when they park.

Chief Inspector Gerry McDonald said: “We have used both a pushchair and a wheelchair to demonstrate how difficult it is to navigate the pavement when cars are parking inconsiderately and dangerously.

“This is both a quality of life issue and a safety issue.

“When people who are pushing a buggy or a wheelchair, using a mobility scooter or holding a young child’s hand have to move into the road because the pavement is blocked, that is dangerous for both them and motorists.”

Drivers caught parking dangerously in Hertfordshire can be issued with fixed penalty notices of £30.

Could this work for Littlehampton?

There certainly seems to be appetite for it.

An online poll of Littlehampton readers showed support for the scheme, with 92 per cent of the 112 voters in favour.

Writing on the Gazette’s Facebook page, Sam Wilkins said “It might seem a waste of time for most people, until they themselves are in a wheelchair or have children who are in buggies. Then they’ll be moaning too.

“It’s stupidly dangerous to put others at risk of having to walk into busy roads and potentially get seriously hurt just so they can pop into a shop.

“Having said that I don’t think it will happen as policing budgets have been cut.”

However, Kay Wr, said: “Two sides of this. People still need to park. If they are going to get a ticket due to being on the path, they may park more onto the road.

“Great for wheelchair users and mums, until that wheelchair user or mum needs the fire truck to get to them but can’t travel through the roads.”

A spokesman for Sussex Police said that they do not intend to introduce it in Littlehampton.

Should the pushchair parking test be introduced in Littlehampton? If so, how should it be funded?

Email your views to news@littlehampton.co.uk.