The problem with parking

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

Author: Philip Strickland
Published:
Reading time: 2 minutes

This article is 4 years old.

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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

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