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Parking on pavements and alongside dropped kerbs

Pavement* parking can be inconvenient for pedestrians and especially hazardous for disabled and elderly people, those who are visually impaired and people with pushchairs and double buggies.  Consequently rule 218 of the Highway Code says:

"Do not park partially or wholly on the pavement unless signs permit it". 

Under section 19 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) are banned from parking on the pavement, although section 19 is subject to a number of exemptions: in particular, an HGV may be parked on the pavement when loading/unloading is taking place. 

In London, pavement parking is banned by the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1974, although within London there are some areas where exemptions are indicated with traffic signs.  Pavement parking is also banned in other locations around the country including Exeter and Peterborough.  Nationwide, the police are able to take action when a vehicle parked on the pavement is deemed to be causing an obstruction or is parked dangerously. 

There is currently no national legislation banning the parking of all vehicles on the pavement, due to the wide range of circumstances and locations where pavement parking occurs.  For example in some narrow residential roads with a lack of off-street parking provision, drivers have little option but to park on the pavement to avoid causing traffic hazards.  The Government has no plans at present to introduce new legislation specifically aimed at banning pavement parking on a national scale. 

As with most elements of traffic management, local authorities have the power under the Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984 to make Traffic Regulation Orders, allowing for specific parking regulations to be implemented in specific areas, according to the demands of local circumstances.  Local authorities can for example introduce a Traffic Regulation Order in a single road banning the parking of vehicles on any part of the pavement (these bans must be indicated with traffic signs), whilst a range of other methods can be used to manage pavement parking, including the introduction of bollards and heightened kerbs

Parking alongside Dropped Kerbs

Parking alongside dropped kerbs is prohibited in London under the provisions of Section 14 of the London Local Authorities and Transport for London Act 2003. 

Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 when enacted will repeal section 14 and give all local authorities in England with civil parking enforcement powers the ability to take action when a vehcile is parked  alongside a dropped kerb in a Special Enforcement Area (that is, an area where parking is, in all other instances, permitted).  The regulations underpinning Part 6 of this Act are due to come into force early in 2008.   

Action to regulate and enforce pavement parking or parking alongside dropped kerbs is strictly a matter for the relevant local authority.  The Department for Transport cannot intervene.

*The term pavement refers to all areas otherwise known as the footway, footpath or verge but does not refer to the road surface.

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