About

Mission

We wish to be able to enjoy the full width of the pavement. We are happy for others to  ‘enjoyed the freedom of the car’ only if they can arrange for somewhere to park it safely and off the pavement.

We aim to peacefully and creatively build visibility for the issue to the point where the authorities are obliged to act effectively and create simple, clear and easily enforced legislation that makes it illegal to park wholly or partially on pavements everywhere and then enforce it.

This won’t be achieved immediately. We will need car clubs in every urban area reducing the need for people to own so many cars. We need to reduce the speed to 20mph speed limits on many residential roads and get more people onto bicycles and off the pavement. Cycle hire schemes are wildly successful in many capital cities at present including Paris and London and need to be encouraged.

We need to create a vision of how all out lives will be improved by not messing up our neighbourhoods for each other. We need to get a lot of people demanding change. We will need re-invent our streets again as places to meet people and for children to play. Some cities are trialing car-free days where major routes are closed to traffic each year allowing people to briefly experience the freedom. Times Square in New York is now free of motorised traffic. Paris, New York, London and an Autobaun in German have all had car-free days.

How can we achieve that?

Our main role is to encourage and support individuals and groups around the country to engage with the issue and to do Something. We will listen out for what people are doing, we will also experiment with our own ideas and will pass on what works.

We must keep it fun, engaging and light. Emma Goldman, the Russian activist was spot on when she said:  ‘If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution’. For sure, some situations do need to be challenged,  however everyone should be ready to lighten it up, respond calmly, explain politely and if necessary leave. It will not be helpful to get angry or cause damage to anyone’s property however badly behaved the owners are!

To be absolutely clear, we do not endorse anyone causing permanent damage to vehicles or to anything else.

We have parliament on our side! Parliament passed a law in 1974 that create the necessary powers but then failed to ensure that it was enabled and spent the next 35 years giving reasons why they hadn’t done so.

In 2006 the transport select committee saidWe accept that the problem of vehicles obstructing footpaths country-wide is a large one and a major effort would be required to enforce the law. But the ‘do- nothing’ response of the Department is no longer a credible option.”

We need to encourage them to try and again and follow it through this time. May it will be 3rd time lucky.

Why Pedestrian Liberation?

Because much of our modern urban environment was created by car drivers with a primary aim of accommodating the needs of the car drivers and his vehicle ahead of the needs of the pedestrian. That is now changing slowly but the car driver is still the dominant force and politicians know it or we wouldn’t have a government pledging to ‘end the war on the motorist’.

Many laws are still skewed in favour of motorists, if a cars parks on the pavement and a pedestrian squeezes past, then it is the pedestrian who will be in trouble  for causing criminal damage if they leave any mark  on the vehicle. New legislation coming in will soon make it illegal to clamp a car parked on your property – if you don’t want people parking on your land then you will need to put up a fence. When cars travel too fast it is pedestrians that get hurt. If a child behaves childishly and steps into the street it is them rather than the driver of the car that hits them who gets the blame. Speed cameras are painted yellow to be ‘fair’ on motorists.

And then of course, if pedestrians don’t keep quite and ‘behave’ and start challenging drivers and authorities in relation to speeding or parking they are met too often with incredulity, challenges such as ‘whats it got to do with you’, or worse. No single incident has exposed the ‘oppression’ of pedestrians more clearly that the case of the blind man in Wales being arrested and locked in minutes after threatening to let down the tyres of a car that had been blocking the pavement for hours despite many phone calls to the police previously asking for them to be moved. This is a perfect example of this Alice-in-Wonderland upside-down world that we currently all live in.

If we want anything to happen then we are going to have to create a huge social movement challenging this situation, which is, of couse absurd and unjust. We will be successful sooner than we think!

History

Pedestrian Liberation was started in June 2010 in Ipswich, Suffolk. We started it because of the appalling level of pavement parking in the town.

Contact: @pedestrianlib  or  mail[at]pedestrianliberation.org

20 Responses to “About”

  1. against site like this April 22, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    As you say yourself you got not powers whatsoever because of argumentative people like you the world is in the state that it is,if you want a world where people tell other people what to do with their lives and create animosity like you guys are doing right now be my guest and create anarchy.We are meant to live in a tolerant society respecting each other but beacause the so called pedestrian liberation think that they have special treatments they like forcing themselves on to others.

    We dont need sites like this!

    shame on you!

    • Peter Miller April 22, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

      An interesting perspective! Clearly this motorist does not recognise that their decision to park on the pavement is also ‘telling people what to do’ by making it impossible for pedestrians with buggies or wheelchairs to walk down the pavement and creating animosity. For sure they would like a society which is ‘tolerant’ of their behaviour, however the claim that we in PL are ‘creating anarchy’ doesn’t really stand up given that anarchy is defined as the ‘absence of publicly recognized government or enforced political authority’ which is exactly what we have now and are objecting to. We are actually asking for less anarchy not more!

  2. Law abiding April 23, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    I am a law abiding citizen and a good person. I have to park my car there because I couldn’t afford a house with off street parking and have to own a car. I agree this is not an ideal situation and the most extreme cases on this website certainly are not acceptable. However, what also isn’t acceptable is the constant leafleting (which is illegal if it causes a distraction/obstruction, isn’t handed directly to the recipient (ergo may fall to the ground) and the handling of someone else’s private property on more than one occasion within 24 hours – which is unreasonable.

    I know you’ve got your own agenda, but bullying the “minority motorist” is not the way to go about it. Patronising chalk doodles and notes under the windscreen wiper blades is not going to make people change their ways. It’s just a confrontational approach which is going to alienate people who otherwise might be completely reasonable had you approached the matter in a less petty and passive aggressive fashion.

    Have you ever considered that the reason why councils don’t act against it is because there isn’t another option? Your gallery of offenders are clearly the worst examples, which I’ve stated, aren’t acceptable, yet you’ve also victimising those who often have no choice either.

    • Graham Martin-Royle October 26, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

      You are not law abiding, you are breaking the law every time you park on the pavement. You do not HAVE to do any of the things you say, you do not HAVE to have a car, you choose to have and to do these things. Basically, you are a selfish person, by accommodating your own needs to the exclusion of anyone else’s needs you are saying that you are more important than they are.

  3. Sushila Dhall September 15, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    I feel victimised when I have to walk in the road with my child because there is too little room on the pavement. Because car drivers have a vehicle they often seem to think that in itself means they should have priority over public space. To me it seems drivers already have the best bit of the public highways (the middle, the best drained, best maintained, flattest bit, with the best view) and the rest of us are literally marginalised, so to be forced to give up a chunk of our margin for a parked vehicle is quite oppressive.

    • Peter Miller September 15, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

      Thanks for your comment. I certainly understand you position which is of course why this blog exists. It is interesting to read you view next to the one above where the person starts ‘I am a good person’ and then goes on to explain why that have to park on the pavement. None of this is easy, but that is no reason to the authorities to ignore the problem and leave pedestrians to make do with whatever space drivers choose to leave them. Do write to your council and to your MP and let them know what you think. Do check the Law section of this blog and if people are actually breaking some law then report them. Good luck and don’t give up.

  4. M Goldie May 26, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    This site seems to be obsessed with motor vehicles. The biggest danger to pedestrians is cyclists on the footway & on the carriageway made even worse by ‘Boris Bikes’ which travel in packs & Stage Carriages (Pedicabs). Cyclists do not care for their own safety as seen by the fact that the majority of cyclists have no lights at night, & so cannot be expected to care for anyone else’s. There urgently needs to be a lobby group representing pedestrians without other conflicting interests. Every London Borough has a cycling officer some of which meets the cycling lobby as much as 4 times a year. Adding to the universal Institutional Pedestrianism affecting pedestrian safety.

    representing pedestrians with out other conflicting aims. Every borough in London has acylcingerepresenting epresentng

    • Peter Miller May 28, 2012 at 9:21 am #

      I have tried to focus on the issues that concern pedestrians with a focus on my own personal experience. For sure cyclists do cause some issues for pedestrians, both when cycling on the pavement and when failing to stop for pedestrian crossings. I haven’t noticed it as a big issue at all in my home town though where many people complain about cars and bins and other clutter and very few complain about bicycles.

    • MJ Ray November 29, 2012 at 9:32 am #

      I think there are some misconceptions and misunderstandings there. Most night cyclists do have lights and it seems like most police forces have at least one crackdown each winter, fining those without lights, as they should. All London cycle hire scheme bikes have lights, too.

      Pedestrians generally have priority, but cyclists still like riding among them in well-designed shared spaces. I do care for pedestrian safety – that’s why I ring my bell as I approach from behind, so that you shouldn’t get a surprise as I pass by – and I think most cyclists do. There may be a few nutters, just like there are a few walkers I suspect deliberately block the whole cycle track to stop others passing, but I think most are fine and it’s just that we notice the idiots more easily than the majority who cause no trouble.

      Most importantly, what makes walking nicer (like reducing bad parking and bad road sign positions) also usually makes cycling nicer, so let’s work together.

  5. Ann Beirne June 13, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    I live in Staffordshire Newcastle under Lyme and our pavement not only have partial parking but some vehicles are parked fully on the pavement. I also think it is absolutely essential that cyclist use footpaths as the roads are far to dangerouse for them to ride on I have had a close friend killed by thoughless driver pulling out and knocked him off his bike this man had been cycling for years safely

  6. tom October 30, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    Hello
    THe local Council are considering narrowing pavements in our area inorder that a new supermarket can negotiate its HGV’s around the corners and make possible the proposed development. The Supermarket then has the confidence to claim that 25% of its customers will not be using cars. Is there anyway that we can insist the council preserve our pavements and let the supermarket deal with the access problem without stealing pavement space from pedestrians? Why should our pavements be donated so that a Supermarket can increase its market share?
    Have you any suggestions or legislation that we can refer to resist this ridiculous pandering to corporative greed?
    Thanks
    Tom

    • Peter Miller October 30, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

      Depends on how much they are narrowing them. The diagram on this map might be useful https://pedestrianliberation.org/2011/08/25/local-council-must-change-its-bin-policy/

      • rashorfield@gmail.com November 2, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

        Thank you Peter,
        Looks like they know the limits. So any luxorius edwardian pavement may be considered as potential new road space for HGV’s. The pavement is 2.8metres and the family can walk scoot and pram down it chatting away nicely without all having to go single file for any oncoming walkers. Sounds to good to be true? Well pretty soon it wont be true at one corner.
        The rights are all with the wrong sort of traffic are they not.
        Thanks
        Tom

      • Peter Miller November 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

        Actually, HGVs over 7.5 tonnes are the only vehicles which would not be able to take advantage of this Edwardian generosity (see ‘The Law’ section for more details). Needless to say, authorities could use existing laws to challenge more general pavement parking on numerous grounds, not least that for ‘driving on the footway’, the Equality Acts etc, however they choose to find reasons to ignore them all and have political support in doing so. As pedestrians, it seems that we will need to raise the temperature so that they can’t ignore it. The temperature is rising, but we can be more to speed the process up.

  7. lisa March 22, 2014 at 7:24 am #

    Hello there. I have issues with parking on the pavement on the street where I live. I won’t go into the details as it’s more of a neighbour dispute which I appreciate is not the objective of your site. I’d just like to share this response with you as I think you may find it interesting and possibly useful.
    I assume there is something in legislation or regulatory but I can’t find anything. Maybe you know? I’ve been advised by my local council that it doesn’t condone vehicles parking on streets less than 5m in width. (Which my street is) it goes on to say that if the boat is rocked, it may have to impose waiting restrictions and double yellow line the whole street as theoretically no vehicle should be parking on a road of less than 5 metres.
    Any views?

    • Aldo June 14, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

      Hi! I’m Aldo, from “LA BANQUETA SE RESPETA” (respect the sidewalk) in Mexico. I’m in London for a few days and I would like to meet you, hope to have some news for you on this weekend.

      • Peter Miller June 21, 2014 at 6:23 am #

        Apologies, its been a busy week and I have only just seen this post. I hope you had a good stay. Needless to say, London is just about the only place which has effective legislation in place to stop pavement parking! I have added a link to your campaign. Keep up the good work!

  8. Liam Robinson November 5, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    Sirs

    Excellent website, but no mention of cyclists. The biggest danger to pedestrians (on the pavement) is not motor vehicles but cyclists. For example, in and around the Richmond & Kew area of London (clearly where I live) pavements have been designated as dual-use without separating cyclists from pedestrians. Cyclist can cycle on the same piece of land as pedestrians.

    When cyclists are approaching from behind you cannot see or hear them. I would wager that there has been more injuries, over the past few years, to pedestrians from cyclists than motor vehicle drivers.

    What is the law related to the use by cyclist of the pavement and can local councils designate a pavement as dual-use, without providing clearly designated corridors for use by each user?

    Can we pedestrians legally reclaim the pavement back from cyclists? If not legally then via the enforcement of the Health & Safety Executive?

    regards

    Liam Robinson

  9. Janet McGhie June 10, 2015 at 11:39 am #

    I’m on a shameless brain-picking mission – can anyone help me find out the law about this problem? I live in a cottage on a U shaped drive, which serves a large house at the bottom of the ‘U’. My home is on the lesser ‘back road’ side of the U, not suitable for larger vehicles etc. Until recently the large house it served was derelict but it has now been redeveloped into 11 apartments. Most of the new residents appear to be using the shorter, maintained, more direct and much wider side of the ‘U’ to reach and leave their home, however, a persistent few are using our unmaintained side. The drive on this side is less than 3m wide and there is no pavement or footway between it and my front door – we literally step out of our front door onto the drive itself. Is there anything in law that can stop this being used as a way for vehicles? It is only a matter of time before my disabled daughter, my dog or myself is badly injured.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Labour’s Rope Walk campaign comes in for criticism from an unlikely source « Ipswich Spy - December 28, 2012

    […] Pedestrian Liberation, a blog set up to highlight the way that the pedestrian is forced to play second fiddle to the car driver, point out that, far from being closed, Rope Walk remains open, just not to motor vehicles. They go on to ask why Labour are proposing re-opening Rope Walk to cars to prevent “rat-running through Kings Avenue, Oxford Road and Milner Street” when the original reason for it’s closure, back in 2009, was to “significantly improve pedestrian and cycle access along Rope Walk, and to reduce rat running in Rope Walk and the surrounding roads”. […]

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