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UK Pavement Parking Rules

The motor trade industry like many others is usually faced with parking problems, especially in large cities with minimal parking facilities or residential areas with narrow roads. Pavement parking peeves pedestrians since the vehicles occupy part of the pavement and may block a pathway.

Pavement parking rules

In this article we look at whether pavement parking is illegal – Can you get a fine for parking along pedestrian pathways? Pavement parking rules can be confusing since every area has different laws, some local authorities in the UK are considering banning pavement parking altogether.

This could be very problematic on narrow streets as vehicles can cause traffic jams if they park on these roads.

Is it Unlawful to Park on Pavements?
The local authority determines the rules on pavement parking depending on the region. However, you will not be charged or fined unless you park in the yellow lines or if there are signs explicitly prohibiting parking in the area. Traffic police will usually charge pavement parking offenders with ‘unnecessary obstruction of the highway’.

When you obstruct the road, it can lead to damage being inflicted on other vehicles resulting in insurance claims. Sometimes you may not have a choice but to park on the pavement, especially if you’re waiting for a motor mechanic, parking is at a premium around these premises.

Pavement Parking Rules in England
You can park on pavements in England except for London, which has a total ban on pavement parking, this could soon change since the government is running a consultation to solve pavement parking problems. The Department for Transport proposed three options for handling pavement parking.

The first and second options maintained that the local council should tackle the issues, and the government could give the local authorities extra powers to handle obstructions. The third proposal seeks to introduce a nationwide ban on pavement parking, when the ban is in effect, drivers could pay a £70 fine for the infringement.

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Pavement Parking in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland
Before the end of 2022, the government will grant local authorities in Wales the power to enforce pavement parking rules. The local council will use their discretion to penalise parking infringement in target areas, however, you will not be fined if you don’t have a choice but to park on the pavement.

Scotland was the pioneer of introducing a nationwide ban on pavement parking, the transport bill gave the local council the authority to enforce the ban and define exemptions. For example, vehicles involved in emergencies or delivering goods can park on the pavement.

While Northern Ireland doesn’t have a blanket ban on pavement parking, motorists are restricted from parking in built-up areas, drivers are also prohibited from parking on yellow lines.

Can I Park on Pavements Outside My House?
The rules on pavement parking near your house depend on the local rules. In London, it is prohibited, but you can ask the local authorities to look. If no ban is in place, it means you and your neighbours can park on the pavement, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

Pavement parking rules can seem unclear, so you should always do your research and avoid causing obstruction. If you cause an accident by parking on the pavement, it is crucial to have private or motor trade insurance, if your vehicle doesn’t have cover, contact your private or motor trade insurance broker.