The problem with parking


Rule 244 of the Highway Code makes clear that it is quite simply illegal to park on pavements in London.

Author: Philip Strickland
Reading time: 2 minutes

This article is 4 years old.

Read our disclaimer keyboard_arrow_down

This website content is intended as a general guide to law as it applies to the motor trade. Lawgistics has taken every effort to ensure that the contents are as accurate and up to date as at the date of first publication.

The laws and opinions expressed within this website may be varied as the law develops. As such we cannot accept liability for or the consequence of, any change of law, or official guidelines since publication or any misuse of the information provided.

The opinions in this website are based upon the experience of the authors and it must be recognised that only the courts and recognised tribunals can interpret the law with authority.

Examples given within the website are based on the experience of the authors and centre upon issues that commonly give rise to disputes. Each situation in practice will be different and may comprise several points commented upon.

If you have any doubt about the correct legal position you should seek further legal advice from Lawgistics or a suitably qualified solicitor. We cannot accept liability for your failure to take professional advice where it should reasonably be sought by a prudent person.

All characters are fictitious and should not be taken as referring to any person living or dead.

Use of this website shall be considered acceptance of the terms of the disclaimer presented above.

Parking on the pavement is not only seen generally as antisocial, but it is, in the main, an offence punishable by a fine or worse if the obstruction leads to serious consequences.

Rule 244 of the Highway Code makes clear that it is quite simply illegal to park on pavements in London, but surprisingly it is not quite so definite outside the capital when it advises that one “should not” park on the pavement unless a sign invites you to do so. The term “should not” creates room for local authorities to use discretion when designating an area subject to parking restrictions.

The standard reason given for not parking on the pavement  is that in doing so, one causes an obstruction to the infirm, the blind, the wheelchair user and anyone else who legitimately view the pavement as being there for foot fall only. Many local authorities have now added bicycle lanes to pavements, but these too will become unusable when an inconsiderate motorist blocks the pavement. While it is lawful to drive across a pavement to gain access to a property, or to park where the signs say you can, ultimately you face a penalty if you risk parking on the pavement.

Strangely this was all thought about long before the invention of the motor car, for it was also illegal to park your stage coach or wagon where it might obstruct. So if you are thinking about circumventing the law by resurrecting the family Brougham and Filly, beware! The Highways Act of 1835 already has you in its sights!

Philip Strickland

Legal Advisor

Read more by this author

Getting in touch

You can contact us via the form or you can call us on 01480 455500.