A trial ban on parking on the pavement might be on the cards for Swindon after councillors agreed to suggest it to the authority’s cabinet.

Members of Swindon Borough Council’s Build a Better Swindon policy formulation committee agreed to suggest a trail, in a selected neighbourhood of prohibiting cars parking on pavements or grass verges, using a temporary traffic regulation order.

Previously the committee had asked officers to present an options paper and at their meeting this week officer Philip Martlew talked the members through the ways a ban could be enacted and the pros and cons.

He told them: “Pavement parking disproportionately impacts on pedestrians, people with disabilities, people pushing buggies. There is no general prohibition on parking on the pavement in England, outside London.

“But if we were starting from scratch we wouldn’t start here, but there is a long-established feeling in the community that pavement parking is acceptable. There’s an embedded behaviour.”

Mr Martlew said councillors could consider a borough-wide ban, or smaller prohibitions for an area or even down to individual streets.

One member Councillor Junab Ali warned against ‘unintended consequences’: “We need to be very careful. There are some areas where a ban would be fine, but up where I live in north Swindon the housing estates aren’t built for households with two of three cars and people are parking wherever they can. A ban would have possibly serious consequences.”

Councillor Matthew Vallender, who represents St Margaret & South Marston said not everywhere would be suitable: “There are areas like my ward where the roads are wider and it’s not such a problem, but a blanket ban wouldn’t work for every area, newer areas where narrower roads mean cars park on the pavement to allow vehicles through.”

But his Conservative party colleague Councillor Daniel Adams did not agree: “If we only look at pavement parking where it isn’t too much of a problem, there’s not too much point. And pavement parking causes disruption to as many people, if not more, than it avoids.”

And Labour member for St Margaret & South Marston Tom Butcher agreed with Cllr Adams saying: pavement is pavement, whether it’s a metre or a mile wide. We give up so much of the public realm to motor vehicles and precious little to pedestrians and wheelchair users and we should protect that.

The members decided unanimously to recommend a trial ban on parking pavement using a temporary TRO in a targeted area yet to be decided.

The plan will be put to the council’s cabinet for final decision.