/ Motoring

Would you ban parking on the pavement?

The Scottish government is planning to ban pavement parking – and the rest of the country could follow suit. Would you support pavement parking prohibition?

As a 17 year-old at college I remember the police coming in to give us a talk on the local parking situation. The college car park was off-limits to students, and the roads surrounding were residential and extremely busy.

With plenty of students having just passed their tests many were flocking to these narrow roads every morning in a bid to park up as close as possible.

Is it illegal?

We were strongly discouraged from parking on the pavement by the police. I remember clearly being told that if there wasn’t enough room for a double pram to get through, then you’d have to move.

But what does the law actually say? In London, it’s crystal clear. The highway code states:

Rule 246: you MUST NOT park partially or wholly on the pavement in London, and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it. Parking on the pavement can obstruct and seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and people with prams or pushchairs.

But outside of London, it’s a little more ambiguous. Councils have the power to enforce bans on pavement parking, but it’s not an option that’s widely taken up, or even enforced.

Consideration over convenience

Pavement parking is an issue that many groups feel strongly about, with a survey by Guide Dogs revealing that 97% of blind or partially sighted people encounter problems with street obstructions.

The government has acknowledged the issues, saying that a review is underway which will help tackle inappropriate parking.

It’s so common to see streets of parked cars with two wheels on the pavement, with many people clearly opting for the convenience of being close to their destination or home. Do you think people should be parking more considerately?

Let us know if you’d like to see the rest of the UK following Scotland’s plans for a blanket ban.

Ian Atkinson says:
22 June 2018

Let’s have a total ban on pavement parking unless as in London a white line on the pavement shows the amount of intrusion allowed. I would also go further and ban parking on the ‘wrong’ side of the road at all times, this works very well in Columbus USA where my daughter lives and does not seem to reduce parking spaces.

Philip S says:
25 June 2018

Pavements are for pedestrians. I agree with Ian, that parking should be permitted on the pavement only where authorised and marked.

Paul Sharp says:
17 September 2018

I believe it is already illegal to park on the “wrong” side of the road – its just not enforced

David G says:
22 June 2018

Most definitely parking on pavements should be banned, as well as on grass verges.Our road now looks like a carpark in the evenings, parked on both sdes, so that in an emergency it would be very difficult for such as a fire engine to pass. The grass verges are either dried and scruffy up in warm weather or rutted and churned up in the wet. My local authority doesn’t seem to care, having just given planning permission for a five-bedroomed house, obviously intended for multiple occupation, (and in today’s style to have multiple cars) to have only two parking spaces – seemingly encouraging on-street parking. If my council can’t be bothered then the only answer is for a national policy – and why only London

Ralfe says:
23 June 2018

Near where I live there are 4 shops with a barrier at the kerbside to stop people walking from those shops into the road. Some drivers now drive between that barrier and the shops to park on the pavement, making it almost impossible to get through with a pram (unbelievably, there is a half-used, free car park at the rear of those shops).The unfortunate thing is, if you give some people an inch they want to take a mile. I can see the reasons for and against but this type of parking must stop somewhere. A total ban, unless permitted with marked out areas, should apply. Pedestrians lose their right of way, get frustrated and sometimes get injured! Councils repair many damaged pavements so council taxes also go up. Ban it, unless specific areas are set aside with clear sign posting! Why is it that traffic wardens and the police are so reluctant to get involved?

Dianne Antcliff says:
23 June 2018

Parking on pavements should be banned. Roads are for cars pavements for walking on. It should be classed as an obstruction.

Paul Flint says:
23 June 2018

Yes. People with prams, people in wheelchairs, children, indeed everyone can be forced to walk into the road by inconsiderate parking on pavements. Pavements are for people. Please campaign to remove any ambiguity so that all parking on pavements is an offence.


Paul- Well so many people in the UK are upset over this that I have just been notified of a “maybe illegal ” device available from an “ethical ” website . Dont get me wrong I am NOT advocating it but it doesn’t seem to be illegal or the item would have been forcefully removed from the site , just read the whole article -invented by an Englishman who said -enough is enough ! it doesn’t seem to be illegal as I said . Yannick Read from the Environmental Transport Association invented it – quote- last year 43 people were killed by cars or lorries as they walked along a pavement or verge https://www.eta.co.uk/2018/01/10/catclaw-tackles-illegal-and-dangerous-pavement-parking-by-bursting-car-tyre/ I am sure this will raise some response !


The forty-three people who were killed while walking along the footway were mown down in terrorist outrages. I doubt if many people have been killed – seriously injured perhaps – as a consequence of walking into the road to avoid cars parked on the pavement. Suicidal terrorists will not be impeded by such devices so this product is not the answer to the present problem. I doubt if many local authorities would be inclined to install the Catclaw devices where footway parking was a problem as they have other [non-destructive] measures which can be used.

It’s all very well lots of contributors here saying there should be no parking on the footway whatsoever, but that overlooks the reality of the present situation where – despite austerity – there has been an enormous increase in car ownership and use, where most urban streets and those in new developments are too narrow for two-way traffic plus parking on both sides [or even one-way traffic and single-side parking in many cases], and where the provision of off-street parking has been severely restricted by official planning policy and the economic circumstances of local councils.

Ultimately there will have to be some system of allocation and rationing through permits, designation of no-car developments and streets so that on-street parking is eliminated and overall parking demand reduced, the introduction of specific footway parking restrictions as in London, and a massive investment in public transport [as in London].

I consider that a lot of the pavement parking is unjustified [see the picture at the top of this Conversation] and is because drivers want to protect their car from a side swipe. Thoughtless and selfish parking should be tackled before we go down the road of indiscriminately puncturing people’s tyres. I am surprised that an insurance