Pavement Parking – is it illegal?

Pavement parking is a controversial topic, one with many different opinions. The general question is however, ‘is it illegal?’. We’ve conducted some research to discover whether you can in fact park on the pavement.

Is it already illegal to park on the pavement?

Across the UK, drivers who park on the pavement are loathed. But is it even legal? Well, the answer is yes… in some parts of the UK. In London, parking on the pavement has been illegal since 1974. If you get caught, you can expect a fine of £70! For the rest of the country however, it’s unclear as to what the laws actually are. The Highway Code is to blame for this uncertainty as it states:

“You must not park partially or wholly on the pavement in London, and should not do elsewhere unless signs permit it” 

It’s only London where drivers are instructed to NOT park on the pavement. Whereas the rest of the UK is confined into the ‘should not’ category. There have been multiple cases across the UK of Police clamping down and handing out fines to drivers who park on the pavement. However, there has been no consistency, which has lead to great confusion.

What do you think?

Last year, a study by Co-Op Insurance revealed that 39% of British drivers are in fact guilty of parking on pavements.

  • 17% say that they’re just copying other drivers
  • 12% say they do it simply to avoid their cars being scratched
  • 6% struggle to find parking so find it easier to park on the pavement
  • 23% say that parking on the pavement shouldn’t be allowed

Currently three-quarters (73%) of drivers believe that parking fully on the pavement is the best way to avoid obstructing traffic in certain locations. But what do you think?

Is it time to re-evaluate pavement parking laws?

It’s said that the Department of Transport are re-thinking the existing laws and will put an end to pavement parking. With the new laws set in place, it could become illegal to pavement park. However, those who have been given permission will be able to do so. It’s thought that pavement parking puts pedestrians at risk, reducing them to a smaller part of the path. People who are in a wheelchair or have a pushchair may be restricted and those with partial sight may struggle.

What damage can pavement parking do to my car?

Not only is it dangerous for pedestrians, but also for the condition of your tyres. Did you know that hitting a curb while driving as slow as 5-10mph can have a major impact on the performance of your tyres? It can cause major damage to your car’s suspension and alignment which will lead to uneven tyre wear and difficulty to control your vehicle. Your tyres may suffer damage to the sidewall which could lead to a dangerous blowout.

If this happens, we recommend getting your tyres checked as soon as possible by a garage on our directory! We have over 9,000 garages for you to choose from and all you have to do is enter your VRM and postcode!

How not to park on the pavement:

Libby Simmons

Libby has been working for BookMyGarage since August 2017; writing articles, creating newsletters and handling the social media platforms. She works closely with ex-mechanics and subject matter experts to provide weekly blogs: essential advice on how to care for your car, need-to-know news and developments in the motoring world and helpful tips on how to cut the costs of running and maintaining your car.

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