Parking on the Footway

Everyone is affected when vehicles are parked on the footway.

Pedestrians are put in danger as they are forced to move into the road to get around a vehicle. Anyone who has a mobility or visual impairment, is especially at risk by vehicles parking on the footway.

Vehicles parked on the footway or verge damage the surface, may also damage underground public service pipes and cables and even create trip hazards.

Councils have to deal with the damage caused by vehicles parking on footways and verges. They see an increase in costs due to dealing with trip hazards, repairs to the footway and/or verge and dealing with insurance claims.

Legal Position

The table below sets out the current legal position.

Legal position, situation, criminal or civil offence and who enforces it.
Situation Criminal or civil offence Who enforces it
A vehicle is parked on the footway, but the remaining footway is still clearly wide enough to allow pedestrians to pass; the street has no other parking restrictions No offence, see note 1 No enforcement action
A vehicle is parked on a footway which clearly blocks the footway. Pedestrians are forced onto the carriageway; the street has no other parking restrictions An obstruction offence may be being committed in this case, see note 2 Police or Council
A vehicle is parked on the footway; the remaining footway is clearly wide enough for pedestrians to use; the street is subject to parking restrictions (e.g., yellow lines) Civil offence (Contravention code 01) See note 3 Council
Parking a car or motorbike on a footway; the footway is entirely blocked, and pedestrians are forced onto the carriageway; the street is subject to parking restrictions (e.g., yellow lines) Civil offence (Contravention code 01) A separate obstruction offence may also be, being committed. See note 3 Police for the obstruction offence; Council for the parking restriction offence
Parking an HGV weighing more than 7.5t on a footway to carry out loading/unloading that could not have been performed from the carriageway, on a road that is not subject to any parking restrictions No offence, see note 1 No enforcement action, see note 4
Parking an HGV weighing more than 7.5t on the footway; regardless of the width of the footway or whether the street is subject to any parking restrictions Civil offence (Contravention code 61) Council
Parking an HGV weighing more than 7.5t on the footway for the purposes of loading/unloading which could not be satisfactorily performed if the vehicle was parked elsewhere, where the street is not subject to loading/unloading restrictions (e.g., yellow kerb blips) No offence, see note 1 No enforcement action, see note 4
Parking an HGV weighing more than 7.5t on the footway for the purposes of loading/unloading, where that street is subject to loading/unloading restrictions This is a civil offence, regardless of the type of vehicle or whether a criminal obstruction is taking place (Contravention code 62) see note 3 Council

Note 1: It is unlikely that an offence is occurring. The police service is likely to apply discretion towards obstruction offences. They are unlikely to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) unless there is a clear and definite obstruction. Any enforcement action will depend on the specifics of the case and the police officers who attend the scene.

Note 2: If our highways staff attend for the first time it would be to just inform/educate the driver. It may be difficult to locate the registered keeper so no action would be taken.

Note 3: Even where yellow lines on the carriageway applies a civil contravention for parking on a footway or verge, an obstruction offence may still be committed. The obstruction offence is enforced by the police. They are unlikely to issue an FPN for low-level obstruction offences if the matter can be dealt with by the Council as a routine parking offence.

Contact parking, travel and roads

Telephone: 01702 215003

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