Drivers face ban on pavement parking

Published 12 March 2020

Plans to stop pavement parking in a bid to make streets safer for parents and disabled people have been set out by the Government.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps says a consultation on the ban will begin this summer with options including a nationwide ban with local authorities given the power to police it.

It’s not clear yet what the penalties would be for drivers who flaunt the rules. Currently only police have this power outside London, where pavement parking has effectively been banned for more than 40 years.

As well as looking at how a nationwide ban would work, the 12-week review will consider any necessary exceptions or designated spots where drivers have no other option but to park on the road. The move follows a transport select committee report last year where MPs called on the Government to ban ‘anti-social parking’. And a 2019 review found that pavement parking was a problem for 95% of respondents who are visually impaired and 98% of wheelchair users.

Parked -on -kerb -1

The move has been cautiously welcomed by pressure groups, including motorists’ organisation the RAC. Head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said that pavement blocking creates unnecessary danger for pedestrians. “However, outlawing pavement parking as a whole is more complex because not all streets in the UK are the same. For example, some drivers will put a tyre up the kerb on a narrow residential street to avoid restricting road access to other vehicles while still allowing plenty of space for pedestrian access.

“Therefore, better guidance and a definition of what is and isn’t appropriate would be a more practical solution, rather than an outright ban,” said Lyes.

While Stephen Edwards, director of policy and communications at Living Streets, said, “Pavement parking forces people with wheelchairs, buggies and those living with sight loss into the road and into oncoming traffic and the most vulnerable pedestrians continue to be put at risk of injury and isolation every day that this dangerous act continues.

“Clear pavements need clear laws, but currently regional differences cause confusion. We need a nationwide default ban, with the option to allow pavement parking in certain circumstances, as is currently available in London. This would be much simpler to enact and easier for everyone to understand,” Edwards added.

The department for transport is also looking at possible options to streamline and digitise the process used to create restrictions such as temporary road closures for roadworks, special events or permanent changes to speed limits and parking restrictions, known as ‘traffic regulation orders’.


Engineer Andy    on 12 March 2020

A laudible aim in the long term, but...where do people living on older, narrow roads with no driveways or communal car parks park their cars?

The main reason why they park half on the pavement is so that other traffic, especially HGVs like delivery and bin lorries, fire trucks and ambulances to get by.

The problem has been that successive governments and councils have, for decades, never planned for or bothered to react to the enormous rise in vehicle ownership, especially in urban areas where parking hasn't been adequate for 40 years.

Until this is sorted out (which will take a LONG time, because you can't just magic up space to put them or find money for all the works), having a 'blanket ban' or just pushing the onus on councils is not the answer.

Planning law and the process for new developments has to be FAR more open and should have consequences for those pushing through developments with inadequate parking and narrow roads (as it is where I live) - including regional/national level 'officials' or ministers.

This should include reducing the need for cars by many other areas of policy by encouraging people to live nearer to where they work and where new shopping, retail and business parks are concerned, as well as far better integration of public transport.

Tom Price    on 12 March 2020

A parking ban is already law in Scotland.

HighlanderUK    on 15 March 2020

A parking ban is already law in Scotland.

doesn't come into effect until 2021.

De Sisti    on 12 March 2020

On narrow roads there doesn't have to be "nose-to-tail" parking on both

sides. If there were reasonable gaps* between cars, then the parking on

pavements wouldn't be an issue. So the owners of some cars won't be able

to park near their front doors; there will always be streets nearby that aren't

as narrow for them to leave their vehicles. Yes, it's an inconvenience for some.

Nobody ever said life was fair.

*Painted lines on very narrow roads to inidcate where vehicles can park?

Just a thought.

Edited by De Sisti on 12/03/2020 at 15:58

Engineer Andy    on 12 March 2020

As I indicated earlier, De Sisti, this is often not the case. Many roads in my home town are completely full of cars, and there are no roads nearby that could take them without themselves blocking traffic, e.g. trunk roads.

Robert McAuley    on 16 March 2020

One problem is that some park far too far on to the pavement so that pedestrians or those with child buggies or, even worse, double buggies cannot pass and then have to go on to the potentially dangerous roads

HUD Engineer    on 27 April 2020

In our neighbourhood, a large suburb that has swamped a village in the edge of Worcester, the many spurs that have been built are simply too narrow for a car to park on the road and a 7.5 ton delivery truck to get past, without actually running up on the pavement. As we have discovered, the pavement doesn't cope well with 18 ton trucks running on it.. A panel van can pass a car, but nothing bigger. Two vans cannot pass. There are two 6' wide pavements on both sides of the road in our close, and local arrangement seems to tolerate cars narrowing the pavement on one side of the road. Most of the houses had a garage and a parking space, but most home owners have legally converted their garage to accommodation without needing planning permission, or added bedrooms via loft conversions or extensions, so the impact assessment on the neighbourhood is never revisited by the local authority, and increases the problem.

If this proposal is implemented, without some consideration of the situation that has been repeated up and down the land, expect to see the bus and ambulance routes near the hospital thronged with cars, and a load of cars getting scrapped before their time, which will flood the used car market

   on 12 March 2020

If lines were painted on roads where parking IS permitted, rather than where it ISN’T.”, local councils and highways agencies would save millions of pounds in yellow and red paint.This could be put towards free car parks.

Dorset123    on 12 March 2020

Why do people think they should park on a path I am sure they wouldn't like people walking down the road and stopping them. If your house doesn't have a driveway or any parking why does that make it someone else problem ? Nobody is forced into renting or buying a house without parking.

Selfishness is the cause    on 13 March 2020

No-one has a right to park anywhere except on one’s own driveway / garage or the permission to use someone else’s. To be certain that my family could park outside our house I moved to a home that had its own driveway and garage with sufficient space for our cars and visitors too. This meant moving further from my workplace. I did not think for a moment that I should receive special privileges to allow me to park how or where I wanted.

Engineer Andy    on 13 March 2020

True, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't expect their local council or government to set aside tax revenues (including from VAT, VED and fuel duty amongst other taxes) to fund sufficient car parking facilities for people living in homes without driveways.

If on-pavement parking (whcih I dislike immensely) were banned and strictly enforced, many people would either have nowhere to park and either be forced to give up their cars entirely or run the risk of them being nicked or vandalised if parked a huge distance away (plus the time to walk to/from the car each day to home), assuming there were spaces somewhere else (mostly not the case) or park on the road which results in no bin collections, deliveries by HGVs or the emergency services and buses getting down their road.

There needs to be a long term solution, not any headline-grabbing gimics to win votes that makes the situation worse.

gavsmit    on 13 March 2020

Unfortunately modern life seems to need to adhere to set rules rather than common sense. Maybe that's come about because some people don't think about their actions enough so need to be 'controlled' by rules.

I hate to see cars parked on pavements - it can be dangerous, damages the pavement / verge and obstructs pedestrians / people pushing prams / wheelchairs etc. But in narrow streets it seems like a necessary evil - as long as people park considerately - and this is the problem.

There's a length of road in front of my house between two driveways which is big enough for two cars but more often than not, one person parks in the middle of it, taking up two spaces. I've also seen cars parked completely on the pavement, meaning people have to walk into the road to get around it.

So I think there should be a specific law against 'inconsiderate parking' - a bit like driving without due care and attention. The person's car should be photographed and a fine (its amount relating to the severity of their bad parking) issued with a brief description of why they have incurred that penalty. It might also optimise the parking available and teach people how to park properly for those that legitimately don't see the error of their ways.

glidermania    on 13 March 2020

About time. The number of drivers round our way with off street parking but who decide to block the pavement such that you have to walk on the road, is a disgrace.

Brian Hilton    on 13 March 2020

I live in a, village where it isn't necessary to park on the pavements or grass verges, however it seems these days the default position for many drivers these days is to automatically park on pavements and grass verges without given it a second thought whether or not necessary.
Just as bad are the grocery home delivery drivers who park on pavements etc automatically so they don't have to carry the goods as far.
I agree there are circumstances where a couple of wheels only on the pavement are necessary, but this should be the exception rather than the rule.

conman    on 14 March 2020

Pity you don't live in Stockport they have just spent a fortune widening the pavements which of course narrows the roads. Oh and hardly anyone walks anymore, same with the fortune spent on new cycle paths with traffic lights. there is one near my house only seen a handful of people use it in 3 months. So if you wonder why the councils are increasing your council tax you don't have to look very far.

   on 16 March 2020

The impact in this area of North London, where it is already against the law - but tolerated, will be interesting. If the local council applied the law - within a mile from here about four bus routes would have to be cancelled, as the bus can only get through because cars are parked on the kerb. If parking restrictions are introduced, the local residents will be barricading the roads.

Mike TTT    on 16 March 2020

So long as you do not obstruct either wheel chairs or double buggy's I see no reason to restrict the parking if the road is narrow. However this trend of SUVs or 4x4 outside a row of terrace houses in a city doesn't help. Also think to the future, in 20 years all these EVs will need a charging spot and the danger of tripping over extension leads will far outweigh the pavement parking issue.

soldierboy 001    on 16 March 2020

If they moved the kerb back away from the road but leaving enough space for buggies and or mobility scooters then they could park legitimately leaving enough road space for fire engines, then if they put a wheel on the kerb or beyond hit them with a £100 fine no reduction for early payment.

Vivien Barber    on 16 March 2020

Part of the problem around here is that so many car owners have paved all of their forecourts and have dropped curbs for the width of their properties that there is no kerbside parking left. We have three cars, but have arranged the parking so that we only have one entrance. At times we have to juggle but it's better for the road. And, no parking on grass verges! One nearby resident has covered her/his ploughed-up verge with polyanthus!

jchinuk    on 17 March 2020

We manage in London, though some narrow streets have designated 'boxes' painted on pavements where it is allowed.
Of course, once EVs become anything like common street parking will be a serious issue, if you want to charge up it would be nice to be able to park outside your home, but will local councils accept leads trailing across pavements?

Bruce Dibben    on 17 March 2020

Captain Bruce.

The bottom line is too many people on our tiny island. Families with several children consider it their right to have up to five vehicles even if they live in a terraced house.
Council planners give permission, for example, a new estate of forty houses which they do not take into account the probable family ownership of perhaps three cars to a house which equals 120 vehicles. We then inherit urban misery in just one small future development. Leaving out the car parking the already overcrowded surgeries, hospitals and other amenities just cannot cope with more development. A 1940's development of a council culdesac, designed in a narrow service road; never in a million years could they see 2020 problems in their planning, culminating in two lines of pavement parking which will be the norm for any future planning experts to solve.
Do we go the Chinese/ Japanese route? Disobey the countries laws at your peril.
I very much doubt it as the police cannot even control roaming travellers who park and live wherever they like through force of numbers. My complaints to the police is that they do not have the resources to enforce the law so we will stumble along and make the best of it.

cheshiredolphin    on 17 March 2020

Totally agree with this well presented view

A.Ward    on 17 March 2020

Good. Time pavement parking was stopped. The pavement outside my house is not fit to walk on because it is broken to pieces with cars parking all over the place. It is up to the local council to make central car parks on spare ground where possible. No where to park means no car ( catch a bus to work and shopping ) or buy a house with a drive

Edited by A.Ward on 17/03/2020 at 14:48

aethelwulf    on 17 March 2020

So who will enforce this? You will need an army of wardens and local councils are reluctant to annoy their residents who vote for them. After all, obstruction is currently an offence that is rarely enforced. All wind and hiss in my opinion, and experience.

   on 20 March 2020

Just ban b***** 4 wheel drive cars and pickups. Law needs to change to reduce max width of cars. f***in townies in Range Rovers, Q7's etc for school runs and shopping.. Ridiculous.

Graham Saunders    on 4 May 2020

There should be a law that makes it an offence to leave a gap of less than 900mm (3'0") on any pavement.That would allow passage of all foot/buggy/mobility scooters etc to pass. No lines would need to be painted. It should be the driver's responsibility to comply. If they can't judge 3'0" they would soon learn if they were fined for infringement.

Peter Astle    on 17 May 2020

Part of the problem is that there are no restrictions on car purchases. Perhaps in order to purchase a car one should have to verify that one has a place to keep it - off the road at that.

Vincent Edwards    on 9 July 2020

Unfortunately parking on the pavement has become the default option for many, regardless of any perceived "necessity". I live on a wide, moderately busy road. Everyone has a garage and driveway. But some neighbours park on the pavement, across the entrance to their empty drive. On the adjacent 1950s housing estate many people park in their front gardens, others in parking bays provided by the council - but there are always quite a few who block the pavement in front of their houses rather than walk a few yards. At a previous address I was pleased when the people over the road demolished their front garden wall - I assumed they would in future use their garden for parking instead of the pavement. Instead they landscaped their garden and rebuilt the wall. By the time they moved out their children were adults and they had five cars parked on the pavement. At another address I lived close to a sports hall where energetic young things would play an hour's badminton, leaving their cars on the pavement/yellow lines outside rather than use the free car park fifty yards away. By all means make special provision in areas where parking is really difficult (the organisations campaigning for a ban acknowledge this). But some motorists desperately need to be educated, and I fear only a parking ticket on the windscreen will do the trick.

JASON RUTLAND    on 26 April 2021

Some people have no respect for other people or the law and they do this by parking on the footpath when they have a driveway to park. This shouldn't apply to people that dont have a driveway but they should not be alllowed to block the foothpath completely so that pedestrians and people in wheelchairs etc have adequate space is allowed for them to pass through.

Edited by JASON RUTLAND on 26/04/2021 at 17:31

Les Richards    on 23 January 2022

Without enforcement, a complete waste of time.

Add to that, e-scooters and cyclists riding on pavements and pedestrian areas. Both illegal but the authorities do not bother to enforce.

Confiscate your car if it's not taxed, MOT'd, insured, etc but not the same for
e-scooter users and cyclists. Thought we were all equal in the eyes of the Law.

Go figure.

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