The Government is planning to extend laws from London to the
whole of the country, allowing Local Authorities to fine motorists
for parking on the pavement. In extending the London by-law,
motorists may find themselves facing a £70 fine.
So what is the current position?
London has had a ban on parking on the pavement for over 4
decades. Exceptions to the rule are marked with special blue
parking signs and sometimes white bay lines to show how far onto
the pavement a car can park.
Nationally however, the position is very different. There is
currently no ban on pavement parking across England and Wales. One
was included in the Road Traffic Act 1974, but it was never enacted
and was eventually repealed in 1991.
What is the purpose of the Government's proposal?
By removing obstructions from pavements, the aim is to make
streets safer and encourage more people to walk. The Department for
Transport is committed to examining parking outside London as part
of their recent cycling and walking investment strategy.
This strategy is expected to make pavement parking illegal
unless the Local Authority grants an exemption and allows motorists
to mount the kerb.
What will be the effect of extending the law?
If rolled out across the country, Local Authorities will be
allowed to ban parking on pavements over wide areas and make it a
civil offence to park on the pavement of an urban road.
Effectively, parking on the pavement will be prohibited unless the
Local Authority has said otherwise.
At the present time, the reverse is true, parking on the
pavement is generally allowed, except where there are restrictions
or an offence has been committed. This may seem odd considering
that driving on the pavement is illegal, as is causing an
What does the Highway Code say?
The position as set out in the Highway Code is that "You
must not park partially or wholly on the pavement in London, and
should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it."
How has this news been received?
While road safety campaigners and disability groups are expected
to welcome the proposed ban, others have expressed concern that the
new powers will be abused by Local Authorities, who have been
accused of using driving and parking infractions as a means to
Edmund King, from the AA stated "The concern would be that
Local Authorities will be able to ban pavement parking without
looking at the consequences and without studying the
alternative." He went on to say "Getting rid of pavement
parking is fine – but only if you then remove some of the
redundant double-yellow lines in order to create space
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