Cycling charities have attacked a proposal giving drivers a 15-minute grace window to park on double yellow lines, saying it could endanger cyclists and pedestrians.
Tory communities minister Eric Pickles wants to introduce the blanket measure in a bid to boost local shop trade, but the CTC warn it could be “seriously problematic” for cyclists’ and pedestrians’ safety, particularly in too-narrow streets. Sustrans also said the measure will lead to more congested town centres that will be counterproductive to retailers’ figures.
Roger Geffen, campaigns and policy director at the CTC, said: “Not only is this bad for the safety of both pedestrians and cyclists, but it could also be counterproductive for local economies by worsening the traffic chaos that so often makes high streets really unpleasant places.”
He pointed to a 2012 study in New York, where investment in good quality cycle lanes and improved pedestrian facilities correlated with a localised boost in retail sales of almost 50 percent.
Meanwhile, Sustrans policy director Jason Torrance said, “The last thing that our high streets need is more parking, more traffic and more congestion.” Instead of making town centres noisier and more dangerous and congested, Torrance said the government need to make cities more attractive places to socialise and shop.
“By slowing speeds and discouraging parking, our high streets will become a hub for walking and cycling, creating an atmosphere where people want to linger and boosting local economies,” he added.
Usually, motorists face hefty fines if they are caught parked on double yellows, but some councils already allow the practice if a driver is nipping into a shop to pick up goods.