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Everything you need to know about your parking rights

Published 18 July 2017

It's now common to find households that have two or more cars. So, whether you want to know where you can park or if it's legal for your neighbour to park over your dropped kerb, we've compiled a few answers to clear up the confusion.

We've all been there. You come home after a long day of work only to find someone's nicked that last parking space. Certain areas have to put up with more parking nuisances than others. If you live near a railway station that's used by commuters or are close to a school, you'll often find that parking issues can cause real friction.

This is made worse if you're without a driveway or a set parking space. Your neighbours might kindly leave the spot outside your house free for you, but this isn't a legal right.

As ridiculous as it may seem, you can be issued a PCN for parking across your own dropped kerb.

It's important to remember - for the most part - that drivers can park in any street, providing they comply with parking regulations and do not cause obstructions. 

It's illegal to park directly outside a school, on the zig-zag lines to a pedestrian crossings and in designated marked bays you don't have a permit for.

Can you park over a dropped kerb?

This is one area that always causes controversy. Dropped kerbs are lowered sections of the pavement that allow easier access from the pavement to the road by wheelchair users, pushchairs and the visually impaired. Dropped kerbs are also often found outside of businesses and private residences for vehicle access.

The Highway Code's Rule 243 states that you should 'not stop or park where the kerb has been lowered to help wheelchair users and powered mobility vehicles, or where it would obstruct cyclists except when forced to do so by stationary traffic.'

Parking a vehicle fully or partially across a dropped kerb is classed as an obstruction and either the police or local council can enforce the contravention. Based on the resources a particular authority has in dealing with this, attention will usually be focussed on offences that impede those with disabilities.

Complaints can be made to the local police via the non-emergency 101 number, although it's usually better to contact the local council first. Action from the council can only occur the it's the occupier of the premises involved who has complained.

200813yp _Driveway _parking

If the problem persists, the council can mark a white line below the dropped curb. However, the markings aren't enforceable by police or councils - they're only an advisory area as where not to park.

As ridiculous as it may seem, you can be issued a PCN for parking across your own dropped kerb. To avoid this happening, contact your local council with the make, model, registration of your vehicle and confirmation that you reside at the property. 

Can someone park on my driveway?

This is a little bit of a grey area. Rule 243 of the Highway Code states: 'Do not stop or park in front of an entrance to a property except when forced to do so by stationary traffic.'

However, if you can still get in and out of your driveway and the car is fully taxed, insured, isn't causing an obstruction and is not in breach of any parking restrictions, the police cannot take any action. Ultimately, this will come down to whether your local council or police are willing to act based on their available resources and what the parking situation in your area is.

If the vehicle has been untaxed for at least one month and left in the same location for a significant amount of time it can be classed as abandoned and therefore removed. You can do that here.

Pavement parking

'You must not stop or park partially or wholly on the pavement in London, and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it,' says Rule 244 of the Highway Code.

It is also an offence (under section 72 of the Highways Act 1835) to drive onto the pavement, even if you aren't intending to park.

This is enforced by the police, although leniency is often allowed if there isn't a lot of space for parking and the road would become too narrow without cars parked partially on kerbs or pavements.

Local authorities and the police have the power to remove a vehicle if it's causing an obstruction or has been abandoned. A vehicle can only be illegally parked if there are parking restrictions operating in the area.

Pavement Parking

Highway Code, Rule 238: "Double yellow lines indicate a prohibition of waiting at any time even if there are no upright signs."

Can a business park vehicles on my road to sell them?

Under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 (part two) it's an offence to park vehicles on the street in order to sell them and to park vehicles on the street in order to carry out repairs for a business.

Section three states that it's an offence for a person to park vehicles on a street in order to be sold. There must be two or more vehicles on the same street, no more than 500 metres apart, acting as part of a business for the offence to be committed.

Section 4 states that it's an offence to carry out 'restricted works' to vehicles on a road as part of a business. This also doesn't apply to a vehicle that's broken down or had an accident as long as it's repaired within 72 hours.

Comments

Keith Moat    on 24 July 2017

Not exactly "everything" you need to know, what about parking near a junction, parking the wrong way round at night, restricting access for emergency vehicles etc.

Neil Sturgeon    on 24 July 2017

I recently went and visited my elderly mother who lives in central Cambridge. In her Street the parking is 1/2 on the pavement and road. It is also a one way street, but Cambridge allow cyclists to cycle the wrong way down a one way street. It is also 5minute walk to Railway Station, and NOT a resident only parking area.

So after spending over 20 minutes trawling the local area to find somewhere to park. I parked at the end of the street on double yellow lines time on clock. 1350hrs, put up my disabled badge, rummaged for my mother's door key, got my walking stick and her shopping, walked down the centre of the street to my mother's dropped her shopping of and told her I had to move the car.

Well what did I find? A parking ticket observed from 1354-1355. Parking violation looking at where I had parked on double yellows but newly painted and extended double yellow lines on the kerbstones,

Waited 24hrs and had a look at the photos of my offence.well all I can say is that this nice civil enforcement officer had seen me park up and was tapping away on his machine as soon as he saw me walk away from my car. On the first photo I am literally only a few cars away from my car. Couldn't the nice man/woman have called out and said excuse me you can't park there! No I'm being silly.

Paid the fine (low income no benefits) sent emails of to several departments (Cambridgeshire Civil enforcement/Highways etc) guess what no replys.

Graham Greenwood    on 24 July 2017

I recently went and visited my elderly mother who lives in central Cambridge. In her Street the parking is 1/2 on the pavement and road. It is also a one way street, but Cambridge allow cyclists to cycle the wrong way down a one way street. It is also 5minute walk to Railway Station, and NOT a resident only parking area. So after spending over 20 minutes trawling the local area to find somewhere to park. I parked at the end of the street on double yellow lines time on clock. 1350hrs, put up my disabled badge, rummaged for my mother's door key, got my walking stick and her shopping, walked down the centre of the street to my mother's dropped her shopping of and told her I had to move the car. Well what did I find? A parking ticket observed from 1354-1355. Parking violation looking at where I had parked on double yellows but newly painted and extended double yellow lines on the kerbstones, Waited 24hrs and had a look at the photos of my offence.well all I can say is that this nice civil enforcement officer had seen me park up and was tapping away on his machine as soon as he saw me walk away from my car. On the first photo I am literally only a few cars away from my car. Couldn't the nice man/woman have called out and said excuse me you can't park there! No I'm being silly. Paid the fine (low income no benefits) sent emails of to several departments (Cambridgeshire Civil enforcement/Highways etc) guess what no replys.

I assume that you meant that you did not see vertical yellow lines on the kerbstones indicating no loading? On just double yellow lines you can park with your disabled badge (not your mothers), for up to three hours, as long as you are not causing a physical obstruction. Sadly, not seeing a restriction is not a defence, but I agree that a decent civil enforcement officer would have told you that you could not park there, being there at the time. My advice is that you could write to your mothers MP, and if you are deemed to have a legitimate complaint, that letter will then be placed before very senior officers at the council, and you will get a reply.

VINCENT MILLARD    on 23 October 2020

I recently went and visited my elderly mother who lives in central Cambridge. In her Street the parking is 1/2 on the pavement and road. It is also a one way street, but Cambridge allow cyclists to cycle the wrong way down a one way street. It is also 5minute walk to Railway Station, and NOT a resident only parking area. So after spending over 20 minutes trawling the local area to find somewhere to park. I parked at the end of the street on double yellow lines time on clock. 1350hrs, put up my disabled badge, rummaged for my mother's door key, got my walking stick and her shopping, walked down the centre of the street to my mother's dropped her shopping of and told her I had to move the car. Well what did I find? A parking ticket observed from 1354-1355. Parking violation looking at where I had parked on double yellows but newly painted and extended double yellow lines on the kerbstones, Waited 24hrs and had a look at the photos of my offence.well all I can say is that this nice civil enforcement officer had seen me park up and was tapping away on his machine as soon as he saw me walk away from my car. On the first photo I am literally only a few cars away from my car. Couldn't the nice man/woman have called out and said excuse me you can't park there! No I'm being silly. Paid the fine (low income no benefits) sent emails of to several departments (Cambridgeshire Civil enforcement/Highways etc) guess what no replys.

I assume that you meant that you did not see vertical yellow lines on the kerbstones indicating no loading? On just double yellow lines you can park with your disabled badge (not your mothers), for up to three hours, as long as you are not causing a physical obstruction. Sadly, not seeing a restriction is not a defence, but I agree that a decent civil enforcement officer would have told you that you could not park there, being there at the time. My advice is that you could write to your mothers MP, and if you are deemed to have a legitimate complaint, that letter will then be placed before very senior officers at the council, and you will get a reply.

I think it's the part where the Writer says I parked at the "End of the Street", probably on a Junction!

When you get your Disabled Parking Permit, you also get Instructions on how to use it, these include Does and Don'ts! Like do not Park so as to Obstruct other Traffic.

I must admit, our Local Gov would have let you off if you rocked up to the Office and explained the Circumstances.

Norwblue    on 22 November 2020

My wife had a similar case some years ago, whilst dropping off furniture at a charity shop which had "Residents only" bays outside. Only there for 7 minutes as she had to wait for the charity shop worker to be free to come out to help carry the furniture.

We appealed without success, but my wife decided to fight the matter as a matter of principle. We found some errors in the road markings and signage, employed a solicitor and the CPS dropped the case the day before it came before the magistrates court. My wife still had to attend court but her costs were awarded against the CPS.

Depends how strongly you feel about the matter and whether you can spare the time.

De Sisti    on 22 May 2019

I can't see how cyclist contributed to your whing/whine/rant. Ok, the Parking Official

could have acted more humanely; but lumping cyclist into your post only makes you

out to be someone who doesn't tolerate people who can legally* go about their business

more conveniently than you.

* Here in Cheltenham many one-way streets have contraflows for cyclists.

https://www.google.com/search?q=contraflows&oq=contraflows&aqs=chrome..69i57&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Graham Greenwood    on 24 July 2017

I suggest that one connected matter, to the points made, is that it is an offence to park on either side of a double yellow line, for the full width of the public highway.

So even if there is a wide verge and/or pavement, you are not obstructing the pavement, and are parked wholly on the verge/pavement area, a double yellow line on the adjoining highway means that you cannot park there. Usually because it may block visibility for drivers!
Just to complicate matters, if a part of the available space is wholly within the private land, of the house or office occupier, not part of the public highway, bgut still near a double yellow line, it is legal to park there!
There is more confusion about parking off the highway, next to double yellow lines, than most other regulations!
The same rules apply to a single yellow line, during the operative times on nearby signs.
Have fun, I am a retired manager of civil parking enforcement!

Graham Greenwood    on 24 July 2017

I suggest that one connected matter, to the points made, is that it is an offence to park on either side of a double yellow line, for the full width of the public highway.

So even if there is a wide verge and/or pavement, you are not obstructing the pavement, and are parked wholly on the verge/pavement area, a double yellow line on the adjoining highway means that you cannot park there. Usually because it may block visibility for drivers!

Just to complicate matters, if a part of the available space is wholly within the private land, of the house or office occupier, not part of the public highway, but still near a double yellow line, it is legal to park there!

There is more confusion about parking off the highway, next to double yellow lines, than most other regulations!
The same rules apply to a single yellow line, during the operative times on nearby signs.
Have fun, I am a retired manager of civil parking enforcement!

Eman Eslaf    on 28 July 2017

What you must realise is that any person willingly taking a job that entails enforcing our ridiculous traffic rules should be treated with respect and sympathy.

Edited by Avant on 25/09/2020 at 15:51

Count Rollo    on 4 August 2017

Beautifully put!

Captain-Cretin    on 1 August 2017

I once got a ticket in Burnley for parking in a restricted zone, there was a single yellow line, but no visible signs to give the restrictions; and as I was only going to be 10 minutes (to walk to a shop and collect something pre-ordered), I decided it would be fine, especially as there were 20+ other cars parked along the same section of one way road when I first drove through..

The ticket stated it was a no parking area between 8am and 6pm, but no other car was ticketed, and it took me 35 minutes on a follow-up visit to find the one and only sign on the road - 30ft up a wall and tucked away in a blind corner where no motorist could see it, nearly 100 metres from where I was parked.

My appeal was thrown out, I would have taken it further, but it meant a 4 hour drive to get to the court as I didnt live locally.

I suppose it is typical, the whole county is full of shysters, why should the council be any different.

David Pidcott    on 10 February 2018

I have read all of the above and sadly whether the councils, police or any other body of enforcement will admit to the following, the sad fact is that common sense goes out of the window, there is rarely any thought process given to the situation at the time and penalty notices are given out like confetti because it is a really good earner for the local authorities. EXAMPLE - Camden High Street one pleasant sunny afternoon and the traffic ahead has slowed down to a stop start crawl!! After some ten minutes or so the reason became obvious - a vehicle broken down ahead. Every vehicle which was affected by this broken down vehicle, including myself passed on the left of this vehicle in order to keep moving. WHAT A MISTAKE!!! In order to keep moving everyone was entering a bus lane. Result- lovely earner for the local wide boys in the council of £80 per vehicle. The response to my phone call to Camden parking authority was YOU NEVER GO INTO A BUS LANE!!! When I suggested to the person I was talking to that had people not gone round the broken down vehicle into the bus lane to keep the traffic moving, then the tailback would quickly have caused grid lock probably going all the way back to Trafalgar Square. Council reply - "that doesn't matter, you never go into a bus lane" The spivs and barrow boys of yester year have given up their trade and are now working in council offices "legaly" screwing the public from their warm comfortable offices.

   on 29 April 2018

i have a question for you.
If i park in front of my own dropped kerb which leads to the only access to my garage and my garden can my local council issue me with a pcn? ive asked them but they refuse to answer my questions.The road traffic management act 2004 section 86 paragraph 3 states only i may park there (and anyone i give permission too but not for gain) but my L.G.A have bayed the area in front of my garage and im sure they believe anyone my park there but this would obstruct me exiting my garage and block me in essentially.
I have received literally hundreds of PCN's for parking where the highest authority in the land on this matter says only i can park there so where do i stand as i want to take my L.G.A to court over this as i fully believe they are in the wrong

Johnson Adejoke    on 15 June 2018

I packed in front of my residence with a valid parking permit owned by me but was charged for parking across bay. I explained that a school is opposite my residence and that some cars were parked in a manner that I had to pack across bay to avoid obstructing the way and also the school entrance. I spent less than 10 mins indoors to bring some of my belongings into the car. However I was issued a ticket and my reason wasn't noted. Am I not justified? I live in Brixton London and I have been charged to court for failing to pay. Pictures sent to me revealed that the Ticketer didn't wait for 5 mins before issuing the ticket. What is the rule for parking across bay in ones resident,if one has a valid residence parking permit?



Louise Penfold    on 8 January 2019

Further to the above - does anyone know if it is still illegal to park next to a 'historical' dropped kerb that no longer obstructs access or a driveway?

Edited by Louise Penfold on 08/01/2019 at 17:27

Byron123    on 25 February 2019

I found a note on my car saying not to obstruct kerb or they will call police to tow away my car . I had abt 6.9 inches of blocked kerb they had ample space to park 2 cars in their driveway which they did so my question is if i blocked vehemently kerb how did they get 2 cars in their drive I’m p***ed that they try to threaten me

   on 27 February 2019

I parked down a road that it's always tight to park the car and I found a space outside a property but it was on the edge of a dropped kerb of which the owners use it for a motorbike that hasn't moved for a few days. Well the local enforcer that I've not seen for 8 years has given me a ticket. There are no markings or signs saying not to park. So what are your thoughts do I appeal it?

Jon MERRICK    on 5 March 2019

Section 86 of the Traffic Management Act makes it unlawful to park (wait) next to any dropped kerb and you may be issued with a PCN (parking ticket) There are exemptions such as loading unloading and parking across your own dropped kerb. If there are other restrictions bays yellow lines etc these these restrictions would supersde the TMA

Edited by Jon MERRICK on 05/03/2019 at 21:06

Mazholenk    on 4 April 2019

I have just had the kerb dropped right across the front of my house, to create another driveway. In between both driveways, I have left a small portion of wall up, in between both driveways a neighbour has parked their car, infront of the wall, half on the road and half over the dropped kerb. This is now causing a problem pulling out of my original driveway and as said above, I thought the law changed and nobody can park on a drop kerb. Please can you advise as this has really infuriated me

Edited by Mazholenk on 04/04/2019 at 17:59

Dimpie    on 17 April 2019

I have a similar issue to you maz as my kerb is dropped all on the front of my property and anyone parking to the edge of my used drive make it difficult to get on and off. Mine is complicated further as it’s a private street. Any advise would be greatly appreciated

   on 26 June 2019

Hi, thank you for the information provided!
I have a question regarding road markings, I was given a ticket and had my car removed (with a valid parking permit) as it was deemed in a “No parking zone”. There are no obvious parking bays and there are no double yellow lines to denote a “no parking zone”. I had parked the car in the same street I normally do and it was behind another row of cars. The council have rejected my claim saying that a Restricted zone does not have to have yellow lines. Is this true?

E leydon    on 6 July 2019

Can anyone tell me if it’s illegal for me to park on the drive leading to house not obstructing the pavement or road in any way

   on 26 September 2019

Here is a strange one. My local council have demanded i move my car despite it being all legit and safe. I had not been able to drive it due to bad feet but they classified it as being abandoned despite me explaining otherwise. They say i have to move it. I even said the MoT is due in five weeks so it will be move then. They say they have power to remove it. First they put on a green sticker. Then i informed them. Now i have a blue sticker saying towing is imminent. They wont listen.

   on 6 January 2020

I own my own property which has a dropped kerb across drive for 2 car. My coucil tenant neighbour has had 2 cars unused parked on his unlawful drive for years which is falling apart. He has since sold 1 car and is allowing another neighbour to park their second car on his drive. To get on to the drive which often as a car parked across this individual has to cut across my dropped kerb for access. I have watched him dangerously reverse out and can envisage an accident happen, This is also causing slight damage to the corner of my drive. Where do i stand i paid for my dropped kerb and drive so why should strangers take advantage!

I do let a fellow neighbour park on my drive - this causes no problem as the car is only used on a Sunday. Where do I stand as this is agrivating me.

   on 13 February 2020

Hi, I have road access to my garage entrance which is mark with a white line and a polite sign. What are the legality’s if someone parks over it as it happens regularly. Thanks in advance

Kerry Pace    on 7 May 2020

My neighbours use a driveway in front of our property-it was never really a driveway as such-I would think more of a walkway they have a garage installed at the end (we have rights to pass over on foot). They do not even live in the lane but have access from the rear of their garden. It is under the legal width and our wall is in a constant state of disrepair. Can I do anything? It is unadopted land.

Jan Claus    on 3 June 2020

I live in a area that suppose to have private parking for the 6 residents, unfortunately other people feel they can park there too.
We have heard that the council maybe putting yellow lines in the car park, i want to know as i am disabled and there is talk they are going to remove the disabled bays am i allowed to park on double yellow lines overnight when it is a private car park owned by the Housing Ass.
Thank you

JACQUELINE Rowse    on 4 July 2020

I have a right of way access to my Driveway with a dropped kerb. My neighbour has a hard standing to the right at the top of my driveway. She overhangs with her car over my driveway and the dropped kerb by about 3 feet Is this Legal

Tony Widdows    on 18 August 2020

I seem to remember a query some years ago in Honest John by a reader regarding a parking offence who was referred to some official regulations that stated you could not be given a ticket until 10 minutes had elapsed.

I aitken    on 30 August 2020

Hi just went to ask my neighbours father this morning to move his car as the lawnmower picks up bits if the little stones didn’t want his car wrecked even though I told them off before they nearly smashed my plant pot out the front they moved it , but to my horror iwas told are you worried we hit your f———- plant pot. Then it’s a f ———— public rd then we know how to park s car but they had blocked my neighbours house completely . Iwas so shocked that she spoke to me like that just moving into a council house and speaking to a disabled council tennant they have only moved in couple of months ago what should I do

Marie Simpson    on 6 September 2020

Hi a large private taxi parks opposite my driveway making it very difficult to access my drive as I am unable to swing into it. He parks there daily for 5+ hours - sometimes 1/2 on the pavement. I am forced to park my car on the road . I previously requested that he perhaps could move his van further up the street which he did for a time but over several months he seems to be deliberately parking directly opposite despite the fact that he has a large driveway on his premises. Another neighbour has similar issues with his inconsiderate parking. I am very reluctant to approach him again as he is not pleasant to deal with directly. I have 2 registered disabled members in my household and he is causing us unnecessary difficulties in accessing our property. From what I have researched there seems to be little legal redress to this problem. Any advice/ suggestions would be greatly appreciated

Kenneth Craigie    on 8 October 2020

Is it the case that although the tyres are not over a line but the car overhangs it is not legally parked ?

Kelly Davis    on 12 October 2020

We are currently having a problem with a neighbour who parks their two cars directly across from our driveway, on a pavement, one on a dropped curb, both within 10 metres of an intersection, on a narrow single car back alley road. The cars make it almost impossible for us to get in and out of our driveway, with the threat of damage to both vehicles very high. We have a narrow entrance to our driveway as well as a slope, and require the road width in order for sufficient turning circle.

The neighbours have consistently refused to park one car up on the opposite side of the road (where there is even more space to park), despite police having visited requesting at least one vehicle to be moved.

We are waiting on the council to visit to assess teh situation.

Where do we stand in terms of our rights to park and get in and our of our driveway, and the possible threat in winter to sliding into a car due to icey/wet conditions?

Parroon    on 20 October 2020

I live in Portsmouth and often drive around for 30 minutes of a late evening after work to try and find a decent parking spot. A lot of drivers inconsiderately park with great gaps in front and behind, if only they would think of other people who need to park their cars too. The upshot being, I often have to park up to 20 minutes walk away, and uneasily, often on double yellows at the end of a road, and get out of bed at 6 am to move my car. Today I go as usual to move and find a PCN issued at 8.30 pm, for blocking a dropped kerb at the end of the road. I feel gutted and livid that just because the local authority cannot or are not willing to take action regarding inconsiderate parking I have been charged £70 (low income/no benefits). I have taken photos of other vehicles which are parked on yellows or even on dropped kerbs on my way back home today which have not been ticketed because I feel like protesting, my question is has anyone ever successfully contested a parking ticket, particularly for parking on a dropped kerb overnight?

VINCENT MILLARD    on 23 October 2020

Not exactly "everything" you need to know, what about parking near a junction, parking the wrong way round at night, restricting access for emergency vehicles etc.

Hi the law about Offside Parking was repealed some Years Ago!

Parking near a Junction is another matter especially if causing an obstruction!

It is an offence under the Obstruction Laws , to obstruct Emergency Vehicles.

Douglas Hellier Laing    on 2 December 2020

Am I correct in assuming that I can park my motorhome even where there is signage stating : ‘ no motorhomes or overnight sleeping in vehicles’, unless the signage quotes the bylaw relevant to the question ?

Grumpy Souter    on 3 December 2020

I remember a number of years ago, a narrow street, no parking restrictions,
vehicles parked in both sides of the road.
Due to these parked vehicles at some points only small cars were able to pass through.
Snow fell during the night and the local snow plough started at one end and got stuck, backed out and ploughed from the other end and got stuck.
Result was a large heap of snow in the middle of the road and everyone was stuck.
When it comes to parking most motorists have no consideration for any one but themselves

   on 7 December 2020

Any idea if someone can help
Chelsea new restrictions on public road
Do not enter If You not resident
That on sw6 traffic reduction scheme
Was working there last week
5 days for every day they send me 2 tickets
For crossing a 20 meters of public road
You have sign
No cars or motorbike
But a was not aware they will send fines
Not sure how to appeal
For continuously giving me tickets
5 days in totall
10 tickets 650 pounds
For not giving enough information on media
Living in London 20 years
Did not know about that
For calling working class people rats drivers.
A was going there to to a work
On flooded flat
If they stated more clearly
A will not go there at all .

gordon will    yesterday

swindon parked my van in free car park went next door to garage to see about brake warning light came back to find penalty notice for parking a van in the car park sounds wrong to me

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