A FRESH crackdown has been launched to get drivers to think about how they park and stop putting others in potentially serious danger.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council (BDBC) has teamed up with Hampshire Constabulary to clamp down on motorists who block roads with their vehicles, preventing emergency services from getting vital access to incidents, or park on pavements, forcing those with wheelchairs and pushchairs into the path of traffic.

The ‘Think before you park’ campaign aims to educate drivers about the potential consequences of poor parking by leaving leaflets on windscreens, which will highlight to drivers how their parking could be putting pedestrians and other road users at risk.

Pavement parking has been an issue which residents have been concerned with for several years and was reported in The Gazette in the last year alone in Hatch Warren, Brookvale and Rooksdown.

Brookvale and Kings Furlong ward councillor, Councillor Michael Westbrook said it is an issue the borough’s Labour group has been pushing the borough council to look into since December 2015.

Cllr Westbrook said: “This is about educating motorists to be more considerate about where they are parking. We shouldn’t have a situation where children are having to walk in roads because paths are blocked off by vehicles.

“As a council we have heard about this a lot from disability groups and we know the Guide Dogs have been asking for pavements to be left clear.”

Earlier this year, the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association campaigned to have the law on street parking changed, as cars parked on pavements can be particularly dangerous for people with sight loss, who can be forced into oncoming traffic.

The main body of the campaign will focus on the distribution of two leaflets – one a gentle reminder for those who might have parked in a hurry to encourage them to think twice in future, and one designed to make the driver think they may have received a fine, which will be issued in instances of extremely inconsiderate parking.

However, residents are being urged to report any vehicles that are causing any immediate danger. Parking officers will continue to issue fines where they have the power to do so.

Sergeant Trevor Taylor, of the Basingstoke neighbourhood policing team, said: “We are fully aware that inconsiderate parking can be a real source of frustration for people.

“While we will take action where appropriate, the answer is not to criminalise everyone but to work with our partners to remind people to think before they park.”

BDBC Cabinet member for communities and community safety, Councillor Simon Bound said: “We’ve heard from lots of residents who are frustrated at the poor parking of others, but the powers we have to take action are limited. It’s important that everyone takes the time to pause before they park – and to think about whether they could be causing problems for pedestrians, or blocking access for ambulances and bin crews.”