MOTORISTS who force wheelchair users and mothers with pushchairs into the road by parking on the pavement could soon be fined £70.

Drivers who park with two wheels on the pavement are a problem in a number of areas of Bolton, most notably Blackrod and Bromley Cross, and have already prompted the council to launch a review.

Last month, police delivered leaflets to people in Blackrod warning them that they were launching a crackdown in the area after a flood of complaints.

In September, Town Hall chiefs started a review of the issue after complaints at an area forum meeting from residents in The Crescent and Rose Hill Drive in Bromley Cross. Only police can issue fines to people parking on pavements, unless there are already restrictions in place.

Councils can introduce local pavement parking bans if they get special authorisation from Government to put up signs indicating a ban.

Now the Department for Transport has said it is cutting bureaucracy and giving all councils in England permission to introduce such bans.

A spokesman for Bolton Active Disability Group for Everyone (BADGE), which has campaigned for a change in policy for years, said: “BADGE welcomes the change in Government policy and it will ensure that people of all disabilities, including those with guide dogs, do not have to resort to going into the road.

“It will also help other pedestrians, such as mothers with pushchairs.”

Cllr David Wilkinson, deputy leader of the Lib Dem group in Bolton, added: “It has been a problem in some areas of Bolton and anything that gives the council powers to tackle it has to be welcomed.”

Announcing the new powers, transport minister Norman Baker said: “There is a selfish minority who do not use their common sense and dump their cars wherever it suits them. I hope that reducing the bureaucracy involved in banning pavement parking will make it easier for councils to use their powers.”

A Bolton Council spokesman said the authority was waiting for full details from the Government. A report is expected to go before Cllr Akhtar Zaman, Bolton Council’s Executive member for environmental services, next month.