Transport watchdog calls on London’s councils to make 2017 the year they clear their pavements of unlawful obstructions

Transport watchdog calls on London’s councils to make 2017 the year they clear their pavements of unlawful obstructions

01 January 2017

London TravelWatch has called on London boroughs to follow Transport for London’s lead and make it their new year’s resolution to clear their pavements of unlawful obstructions.

Every London council has a legal duty placed on them to keep their pavements clear of obstructions. However, only a handful do this properly. As a result, many of London's streets are dangerous obstacle courses for pedestrians. This can even be a deterrent for older and disabled people getting out.

'This is not acceptable in London, a city with such busy pavements and where public policy is to get more of us walking more often. We are really proud of our role in changing Transport for London’s stance on unlawful obstructions and it has been great to see them start to enforce a zero policy regime in this area', said Stephen Locke, Chair of London TravelWatch.

Stephen continued: 'But the London boroughs have to do the same. London TravelWatch will be campaigning on this issue and naming and shaming the boroughs that won't take their legal duties seriously over the coming months.'

 

Further information

  • Section 130 of the Highways Act 1980 requires TfL and London’s local councils to keep their pavements clear of unlawful obstructions. Various legislation gives local highways authorities the powers they need to enforce against non-compliance. These powers are outlined in London TravelWatch's report Inclusive Streets
  • TfL have recently demonstrated that the magistrates courts will support local highways authorities in this duty which outlines seven recent convictions.
  • The attached map is based on London TravelWatch’s latest observations of the streets controlled by local councils. The colours reflect the differences observed: Green  - pavements are clear of unlawful obstructions; Yellow – some pavements are clear of unlawful obstructions; Pink – unlawful obstructions have been managed towards the buildings; Red – pavements are badly obstructed.See also the attached photos of pavement obstructions.
  • Follow London TravelWatch on Twitter and You Tube.
  • For more information, please contact the London TravelWatch press office on 020 3176 5941 or 07734 055494.
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