Residents across Ealing are asking Ealing Council to take tougher enforcement action to deal with motorists who park illegally and dangerously on pavements.
They say over recent years pavement parking has become a noticeable and growing issue across the borough, but little action is taken against motorists who prevent pedestrians including wheelchair users and parents with pushchairs from using pavements.
Locals claim that while Labour-run Ealing Council has implemented a few high profile parking enforcement patrols in Southall over the past year, that’s not enough for Southall or across the borough as cars continue to be parked on pavements causing danger to others.
In 2022, Ealing Council issued 79 tickets in Southall in a high profile evening out with the police. This was repeated earlier this year when they issued 73 tickets but residents in Southall and in other Ealing towns say it is not enough and was a “PR exercise” with no noticeable follow up.
Speaking to EALING.NEWS, Sanjay from Southall said: “It’s all well and good for the council to come out in a PR stunt once or twice a year. Where are they at other times of the year and what are they doing to show high visibility against pavement parking? Giving out parking tickets for a few hours at night as part of a PR exercise is not enough as the offenders come back and still park illegally on the pavements and on the roads day and night.”
Sanjay added: “Where is the enforcement as no one from the Council seems to be doing anything about it. We need firm action to prevent this and send a strong message that it is not acceptable.”
Residents have also contacted EALING.NEWS and sent photos of motor vehicles parked in front of houses where the front garden has been converted into a parking space – but without having a council authorised dropped kerb for access onto the road.
Toby from Hanwell said: “As I travel across the borough, I’ve noticed more and more cars and vans parking in what was a front garden and their vehicles are also parked on the pavement as well. Also cars parked in front of shopping parades. What is the council doing about it? It seems like nothing. It causes a danger and the council is ignoring it?”
Neil Reynolds, chair of Ealing Green Party says Ealing Council is doing “too little” in combating illegal parking across the borough. He told EALING.NEWS: “Illegal parking is dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists and other road users. The lack of enforcement means that this anti-social behaviour is rarely tackled in Ealing. Bringing parking services in-house will hopefully help, but the council is doing too little in the meantime.”
According to some residents, when Ealing Council and their local councillors are contacted about the issue, nothing is ever done.
Tony from Acton told EALING.NEWS: “The council have been notified of the issues and problems so many times, the councillors have also been told as well but no action ever seems to be taken. In Acton and across the borough there are so many front gardens being used as parking spaces with drivers going over the kerbs to get to them. If action was taken, I’m sure there would be a drop in the number of people abusing the pavements.”
Opposition parties to Ealing Labour have also raised their concerns.
Leader of Ealing Liberal Democrats, Councillor Gary Malcolm told EALING.NEWS: “Liberal Democrats think that drivers should not be parking where it is dangerous such as on corners and on pavements, and as such the Council should review and enforce drivers where these events happen as it might cause issues for those with mobility issues like parents with prams or those using wheelchairs.
“The Council should also allow residents, businesses and councillors to feedback to the Council so that they can review any locations where problems seem to be taking place. Having ward forums would have been a focus for some of these types of issues and might be one reason why problems are taking place since the Council got rid of ward forums.”
A Ealing Council spokesperson told EALING.NEWS: “Driving over kerbs and the pavement can quickly lead to damage which can become a trip hazard and require repair. It can also affect pedestrian safety and access, particularly for older or less able residents and families with prams.
“Where we observe or receive reports of vehicles parked on front drives of properties that do not have purpose-built dropped kerbs, we write to the occupiers, explain this is illegal and provide details of how to apply for a dropped kerb and the criteria. If we do not receive a response or a valid dropped kerb application, and the action continues, then we look to take enforcement action. Incidences of illegal front garden parking can be reported to the Highway Services on HighwayServices@ealing.gov.uk.
“If a vehicle is blocking the footpath, then please contact our parking services on 0208 825 6677, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm and choose option one. Or report using the LoveCleanStreets app out of hours or by calling 0208 823 5000.”