London has long had a ban on pavement parking, but the rest of the UK has never had any specific laws prohibiting the practice.

However, the Department for Transport (DfT) has said it is considering a nationwide ban, with offenders liable for a £50 or £70 fine - according to The Times.

Any such new laws will help prevent cars and other vehicles from blocking pavements, which can make them difficult to access for wheelchair users, blind pedestrians and those with pushchairs.

London has had a full ban on pavement parking for more than 40 years. Councils outside the capital have been arguing for similar powers for many years.

But not everyone is happy about the news. Some motoring groups believe such a ban is not appropriate for some parts of the UK and may even increase congestion.

Those that oppose a total ban often point out that in some circumstances parking on pavements ensures traffic can keep moving - but that consideration should also be shown to pavement users.

Critics suggest some roads are so narrow that if vehicles parked on both sides it would be impossible for emergency services and refuse lorries to pass.

Reply to a question raised in parliament, Jesse Norman, the transport minister, said: "The Department for Transport has been considering the scope for improving the traffic regulation order process.

However, the department is now undertaking a broader piece of work to gather evidence on the issue of pavement parking. We expect to be able to draw conclusions later this year."