Legal Guide

Is it Legal to Park on the Pavement in the UK?

These days one of the biggest problems faced by motorists is finding a convenient and affordable parking space. This can be especially problematic if you live in city centres or apartment blocks with no designated parking. In many cases, people who don’t have access to parking at home on a driveway or specific space may be tempted to park on the pavement. There is a range of differing opinions when it comes to deciding whether this is legal or not. So, if you park on the pavement are you in danger of incurring the wrath of traffic wardens or other people tasked with overseeing parking enforcement. We thought we would take a few minutes to examine the actual rules covering parking on the pavement in the UK to try and help make things clearer for you and maybe save you a few pounds in parking fines. 

Are There any Specific Rules When It Comes to Parking on the Pavement?

The only place there are specific laws that prevent you from parking on the pavement in this country is London. However, in certain other parts of the country, there may be civil and criminal laws aimed at deterring motorists from doing so. Parking on the pavement is thought of by many people as being a form of anti-social behaviour, especially where the walkway is only narrow. This is because it can inconvenience pedestrians such as mothers with prams or people in wheelchairs and possibly put them in danger from passing traffic. When this happens there is every chance the police could charge you with causing an obstruction.

Is there any likelihood of Parking being made illegal outside of London?

At the moment it is highly unlikely that parking will be made illegal in all parts of the country. However, the Department of Transport undertook a consultation exercise in 2020 specifically aimed at tracking the depths of the problem. In conclusion, they came up with three options aimed at making it easier for local authorities to apply for a TRO, which would provide them with expanded powers to help enforce restrictions when it comes to parking on the pavement. At the time of writing this article, there has been no further action. However, the Scottish parliament did pass legislation to ban parking on the pavement but as of yet have not implemented it.

Can I Park on the Pavement Outside My Own House? 

The pavement even when it is right outside your front door is classed as part of the public highway, not your property. Because of this, you have no legal right to park your car there unless you live on a private road as that could be covered by a different set of bye-laws. The rules are different when it comes to people with disabilities as they are allowed to apply to the local authority for permission to paint a disabled parking bay on the road outside their property. 

Are There Specific Fines for Parking on the Pavement?

This really depends on the police and local authority in your area. When it comes to parking enforcement rules vary greatly from location to location but be aware you could receive a parking notice from either the police or a traffic warden if you are deemed to be causing an obstruction. 

What Steps Can Local Authorities Take to Stop Cars from Parking on the Pavement?

They can do a number of different things such as using red or yellow lines to permit parking during certain periods or prohibit it completely. Another option is to install bollards or other physical barriers that prevent vehicles from getting access to the pavement and parking there. However, when doing this the local authority has to ensure that any such barriers do not impede pedestrians. 

While the information contained in this piece is by no means definitive, it should allow you to make an informed decision when it comes to parking on pavements and avoid excessive fines.

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