Watchdog presses for further action after traders fined for obstructing the pavement

Watchdog presses for further action after traders fined for obstructing the pavement

09 March 2018

London TravelWatch today pressed for tough action against traders who obstruct pavements, following successful prosecutions over advertising boards and shop awnings.

TfL successfully prosecuted two non-compliant premises on 22 February 2018 at Lavender Hill Magistrates’ court :

  • The owner of Lift, premises located in Hackney, was found guilty of obstructing the highway by placing advertising boards on the pavement despite previous warnings. He was fined £250 with a £30 victim surcharge. TfL was awarded its full costs of £800.
  • The owner of JR Butchers, premises located in Wandsworth, was prosecuted and found guilty of obstructing the highway with the awning posts of his blinds permanently fixed in the pavement. He was fined £500 and TfL was awarded its full costs of £800.

London TravelWatch has campaigned for action to be taken against traders who flout rules preventing obstructions on pavements, and is working with TfL to crack down on persistent offenders.

Arthur Leathley, Chair of London TravelWatch commented: ‘We know obstructions on the pavement are a nuisance to pedestrians and particularly hazardous to visually and mobility impaired and older people. We have campaigned to get Transport for London to take the issue seriously. So we are really pleased that they are working hard to get the message over to traders and others, that it is inconsiderate and unlawful to obstruct London’s pavements.’

Arthur Leathley continued: ‘Most businesses just need reminding that the pavement should not be obstructed and they will clear advertising boards and other obstructions, but unfortunately not everyone complies. It is good news that TfL are prepared to issue fines and ultimately take offenders to court.’

Arthur Leathley added. ‘We also want to see local councils keeping their streets clear. The attached map of the London boroughs shows how few London boroughs undertake this duty properly.’


Further information

  1. London TravelWatch is the operating name for the London Transport Users Committee. We are the official watchdog representing the interests of transport users in and around London, and independent of the transport operators and government. London TravelWatch is sponsored and funded by the London Assembly, part of the Greater London Authority.
  2. It is a criminal offence to obstruct the pavement without lawful excuse. All local highway authorities have a duty to ensure their pavements are clear of obstructions, though too few of them do this. Following significant engagement with traders TfL will issue a fixed penalty notice and if this isn’t paid take offenders to court.
  3. Follow London TravelWatch on Twitter and You Tube.
  4. For more information, please contact the London TravelWatch press office on 020 3176 5941 or 07734 055494.
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