No neighbourhoods or ward councillors have asked highways officers at Swindon Borough Council to take the necessary steps to ban cars parking on pavements in the town.

But at least one resident thinks drivers who do so, and who damage the verge or pavements should be “charged”.

Councillors on the authority’s communities and place overview and scrutiny committee heard from officer Philip Martlew about the issue of cars parking on the pavement.

Mr Martlew said in Swindon it was only illegal to park on the pavement where there is an existing parking restriction such as single or double-yellow lines, but it is illegal to drive on the pavement.

He said: “You can’t get round yellow lines by parking on the pavement. Where there’s no restriction, it isn’t illegal, but driving on the pavement is.

“That’s a criminal offence that can only be enforced by the police, and only if they see someone driving on the pavement. The police can also do something about it if the car is causing an obstruction either to the footway or an access or a dropped kerb.”

The council does have the power to bring in traffic regulation orders to prohibit or even make specific allowances for vehicles to park on the pavement.

Mr Martlew said: “It can be done for a specific area, or a street or the whole borough. That’s quite a drawn-out process, which needs two stages of public consultation.

“There is a lot of concern about pavement parking across Swindon, but when we’ve had meetings with ward members and residents we have not been asked to take an order forward.”

Chairman of the committee Coun Claire Ellis said: “Is there no appetite for banning it?”

Mr Martlew responded: “It remains a problem, but there was no area which asked to introduce a pavement parking order when it was able to do so.”

James Dempsey, a resident of Freshbrook said: “If you pass an order banning it how do you enforce that. You might be able to do it in the town centre, but you don’t have enough people to enforce it in other areas like Toothill or Freshbrook. Is it worth banning something if you can’t do anything about it?”

Mr Dempsey said owners of cars which parked on verges and pavements should be charged if they damaged the ground.